Treasure Find

Treasure Find

Postby JoshuaA » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:21 pm


It was just an old Chinese vase that had been in the family for 80 years. It turned out to be much more.

When the intricately painted 18th century piece went on the block at Bainbridges, a small suburban London auction house recently, it sold for a record $83 million, scooped up by a Chinese buyer.

"How do you anticipate the Chinese market?" asked the shocked auctioneer, Peter Bainbridge. "It's totally on fire."

The sale price was more than 40 times the pre-sale estimate and a record for a Chinese work of art- an outcome Bainbridge called "a fairy tale" for the family who owned the vase.

The sellers, who wished to remain anonymous, are the sister and nephew of a deceased elderly woman in the West London suburb of Pinner. The vase had been in the family at least since the 1930s, though they don't know how it was acquired.

Many Chinese artifacts surfaced in Britain in the 19th century, having been looted from Beijing's Summer Palace when it was sacked by British and French troops at the end of the Second Opium War in 1860.

Painted sky blue and imperial yellow and adorned with medallions depicting leaping goldfish, the 16 inch vase dates from the Qing dynasty, a time when Chinese porcelain-making was at its pinnacle.

Made for the personal collection of Emperor Qianlong and bearing the imperial seal, it was an exceptional piece, experts said.

Still, no one expected what happened when the delicate enameled vase went on the block.

Bainbridge said the atmosphere was "electric."

The vase, bought by a Chinese bidder on behalf of an undisclosed buyer, beat the previous record for Chinese art. A 45-foot-long, 11th century scroll elaborately decorated with calligraphy sold for almost $64 million in Beijing last June.

From The Daytona Beach News-Journal, submitted by Zoueva Grossmann, Palm Coast, FL, and many other readers.

Re: Treasure Find

Postby Teo » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:22 pm

That would be an awesome find, for that price the family is set.

So are you should look around your house and maybe you can find a treasure too.
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