It seemed appropriate that I should leave bids on these two pictures at auction during my recent visit to southern China.
Both pictures are Chinese, late 18th/early 19th century, ink and colour on paper, the top the view of a butcher's shop, with a pen holding a sheep and a goat, back of the shop with large vessels on a shelf, a sheep's carcass and meat hanging from hooks on a rod, shop owner chopping ribs as a customer waits, man with baskets of radishes outside, 12 x 15-1/8 in.; in modern gilt wood frame,
the lower picture shows the interior view of a poultry shop, chickens and geese in cages and pens, a display of flattened ducks and other items hanging from a rod, a man delivering baskets of live egrets as another man processes a bird, shop owner behind counter, a customer purchasing a chicken, 12 x 15-1/4 in.; modern gilt wood frame.
These were sold as two lots, and ideally you would want to secure them accordingly.
What is therefore surprising is that the top picture achieved USD900 and the lower one USD2,600. I did not secure either, and I am relieved because one without the other would have been annoying. I do think both prices are the worrying side we are witnessing in Chinese art.