A powder-blue-glazed and gilt pear-shaped vase, Kangxi

The gently bulbous body rising from a splayed foot to a tall flaring cylindrical neck, flanked on either side by mythical beast handles, finely gilt around the exterior with two registers of fierce taotie-style animal masks against geometric grounds, all below borders of upright and pendent leaves interspersed by ruyi-head and taiji motifs on the neck, with a chevron band at the rim.  38.8cm (15¼in) high. Sold for £5,400

Provenance: a French private collection

Bonhams. Fine Chinese Art, 14 May 2009. New Bond Street www.bonhams.com