Art from Asia proved popular at the February auction of Whitchurch auctioneers Trevanion and Dean.

The first auction of 2020 featured more than 900 lots, which included a large single-owner ceramics collection, some rare examples of Chinese porcelain and some exceptional consignments of antique jewellery.

The top result of the day came from an 18th century Chinese porcelain dragon charger, which sold £4,400 against a modest pre-sale estimate.

The charger generated an enormous amount of pre-sale interest as it caught the eye of some of the country's leading Asian art collectors as well as international bidders.

On auction day, the final sale came down to a battle between a bidder online and on the phone, eventually selling online to a London based collector.

Auctioneer and Asian art specialist Ashley Jones says the charger was a remarkable item.

"I knew that this charger was special when I first saw it," said Ashley. "Of course, you have to be cautious with pieces like this, as fakes can be of a brilliant quality themselves, but everything about this charger was right.

"The decoration is exquisite, with such an unusual combination of colourways that you don't see on the market too often.

"That, combined with its remarkable condition, is what generated such an incredible influx of interest."

There were further successes in the Asian art category as another charger of the same period, this time decorated with a lotus and birds, achieved a price of £2,200, and a rather unassuming porcelain Ge-Ware craquelure brush pot or 'bitong' which sold for an impressive £800.

"The prices achieved in this month's auction reinforce my view that marked imperial pieces command the highest prices in the current market for both UK and overseas buyers," Ashley added.

"It also demonstrates that our international audience is as strong as ever, and the year ahead looks promising for the team at Trevanion & Dean as one of the region's leading auction houses."

Auctioneer Christina Trevanion was delighted with the start to the year

"It was a wonderful and buoyant start to our exciting 2020 series of auctions, with over 1,000 online bidders alone and an 85 per cent sold rate overall," said Christina. "It is a good sign of things to come this year."