WITH the power of the internet now firmly established as a major factor on the hammer prices of goods selling at auction, the importance of auctioneers cataloguing, using ‘key’ words, was demonstrated to great effect at Andrew Smith and Sons September Fine Arts and Antiques sale.

Specialist art and antiques databases rely on these words, or terms, to alert their millions of subscribers to items wherever they are offered around the globe, thus the need to include as many as possible.

Perfectly illustrating this, a Chinese porcelain vase, consigned privately to the Winchester Salerooms proved the biggest surprise.

Standing 39cm high, the vase bore a six character underglaze blue mark of the Yongzheng period (1723-1735), unusually decorated in blue and copper red with scrolling leaves surrounding the large floral blooms, this attracted considerable pre-sale interest from mainland Chinese parties, who considered the vase to be of the period despite the cautious estimate of £400-600.

Bidding commenced in the room at £50,000 against a bank of international telephone bids and multiple ‘live’ on-line bidding platforms, covering China and the USA.

The next bid came in at £500,000, with a steady climb over the next ten minutes, the bids eventually at £100,000 increments, settling with a Chinese buyer in the room, taking instructions via telephone, at £1,300,000.

The vase is currently in the process of export to China.

This sets a new house record for Andrew Smith and Son, who have a string of high value Asian lots under their belts, including sales of two bronze censors earlier this year at £66,000 and £37,000.

Back to business and somewhat overshadowed by the enormity of the hammer price of the vase, a good companion pair of 18th century oil on canvas paintings of longhorn cattle, executed in the naive style by the artist John Boultbee (1753-1812) performed exceptionally well.

Again, consigned by a private source for which this auctioneer is so renowned, having been purchased from a Christie’s London auction sale some forty years prior for £420, the pictures remain in the poor condition of that time, having been put aside ever since.

John Boultbee (1753-1812) a companion pair of long horn cattle studies, £19,500 at Andrew Smith and Sons September auction sale with one picture bearing a signature, the other apparently by the same hand but unsigned, the provenance assisted their appeal and sold exceptionally well against an estimate of £5,000-8,000 for a healthy £19,500.

Andrew Smith and Son's next monthly sale is held this Saturday (October 5) – with the next two day Fine Arts sale over October 23 and 24.

The auctioneers salerooms are open for all enquiries Monday – Friday on 01962 735988 or visit their website www.andrewsmithandson.com, or for all email enquiries/valuation requests to auctions@andrewsmithandson.com.