Jade is like a beautiful woman; it should be held firmly but gently' I could not help smiling when Roger Keverne said that on the promotion video for Sothebys' upcoming sales in HK. So is he selling out after trading for 50 years?
I have been to his gallery on Clifton street, modest compared with the cool vast place of Eskenazi opposite. Yet it's stuffed with many fine pieces of jades, Huanghuali funitures and bonzes. I still remember a 19th C reversed glass oil painting of remarkable quality, depicting two lovely young girls playing sports in the garden, with onlookers of relatives and attendants in their fineries.
Roger is an amusing character, he could play up a little to lighten the deadly seriousness of a battling auction room. When the bidding went well over to the estimated price, he said 'Gosh, I have better go and change my price list!'
Of 93 pieces he is selling, a mixed bag of selective materials and qualities, all genuine and worthy addition to collectors new and old. But he is not selling out, not yet. I browse his website and come across the feature piece, a magnificent green jade incense burner and cover. You would like to admire it from a certain distance. It would be costly to own it, and to be able to hold it firmly and gently.