Continuing our celebration of Asian Art Month, welcome to our Q&A with the exceptional Asian Art dealer Catherine Hunt Oriental Antiques.
Q: Why did you start collecting Asian Art and Antiques?
A: I never collected Asian Art, I grew up with it. My family all seemed to have rather a lot of it when I was growing up and I learnt by handling it all the time. My mother especially understood ceramics and textiles, as did my grandmother, and was always passing on information almost as an aside, so really I learnt by osmosis. My collection today consists of broken pieces, as a reference collection.
Q: How would you describe your Asian Art & Antique Collection?
A: Due to the way I learn, it is the ceramics and textiles that I love. In textiles it is Rank Badges, as seen on 2Covet. The people that bought from me early on have a wonderful collection that has increased massively in value. My favourite ceramics are from the era of Ming, Transitional and up to the end of the Emperor Yongzhengs reign in the early part of the Qing dynasty. Although many people associate me mainly with Blue and White from the mid-Ming period through to Kangxi period which ended 1722.
Q: Which style of Asian Art resonates with you most and why?
A: My absolute passion is two areas of ceramics; one is Ko-sometsuke and the other is Transitional and Kangxi Blue and White, there is a big cross over between the two. Ko-sometsuke is made for the Japanese market mainly during the Transitional period.
Q: What is your most cherished piece and why?
A: Cherished pieces are pieces of stock in which I am often very choosey about where they are sold and to whom! I love stock no. 6201, a Ming large saucer plate with cranes, that shows movement in the painting and the flight of the birds, I also love the plates 6247 / 8 both showing a similar pattern with a subtly humorous scene - check out the faces on the horses.
Q: What advice would you give to young collectors of Asian Art?
A: Anybody today wanting to collect Asian Art must do some homework first. Visit the great Museums and study known collections and decide where your fascination lies. The British Museum - Home of the Percival David Collection - and their own display is well worth a long visit as is the Ashmolean in Oxford again housing notable collections, The Reitlinger Collection and the Gulbenkian Museum, Durham. Then they should deal with respected Specialist Dealers in Asian Art.
Q: What is the last Fair you exhibited at? Which Fair will you be exhibiting at next?
A: Due to Covid, the Antique and Fine Art circuit of Fairs has very much been on hold. I was at possibly the last Fair before lockdown, The Wilton House Fine Art and Antique Fair which is where the picture comes from.
Q: What was your last Asian Art purchase?
A: The last item I purchased was number 6246, now sold!
SOLD - Kangxi 17th Century Blue and White Brush Pot