12
Oct
12

Third Time’s the Charm

If you’re lucky enough sometimes a treasure finds you, even if it takes a couple of attempts. This was the case with a couple from Fresno who came to Michaan’s Auctions to have a local antique shop find appraised.  They set a private appointment with Asian Art Specialist Harry Huang on Saturday, October the 6th and recounted the tale of their blue-glazed porcelain vessel.  The pair were casually browsing through a small antique shop in their hometown when they saw the piece with a price tag of $150.  Although they were intrigued by it, they decided to hold off on making a purchase.  When they came into the shop to browse for a second time, they decided to speak with the owner about it.  Sensing their interest, the owner made them an offer of $100.  The couple remained unsold on the piece.  It took a third visit with a $50 price tag to finally make the sale.

Blue glazed porcelain vessel

Blue glazed porcelain vessel

When the lidded vessel was brought to Huang, it came in two nondescript boxes. The couple removed a paper wrapped piece from each box.  When they were unveiled, Huang was floored. The archaistic piece displayed an emperor’s mark upon it’s base, denoting that it was from the late Qing Dynasty.  Huang informed the couple that they had an exquisite work of art on their hands.  The couple was amazed to learn that their “bargain buy” was actually worth over one hundred times what they had paid.  The vessel is now slated for sale on December 11th in the Michaan’s Fine Asian Works of Art Auction at an estimate of $7,000-9,000.  A similar piece of this caliber was sold in Christie’s Hong Kong Imperial Auction on May 30, 2006 for $14,000.

Update (December 18, 2012):

A Consignor’s Update: Blue-Glazed Vessel Holds Even More Surprises

Alas, the magical tale of the blue-glazed vessel lives on, with even more surprises up its sleeve.  The biggest surprise was actually on the consignor, who was in disbelief of its final selling price.  The fine lidded archaistic vessel from the Qing Dynasty sold in the December 11th Fine Asian Works of Art auction for $26,550 (lot 9253, estimate $7,000-9,000).  Upon hearing of its sales success, the consignor promptly called Asian Art Specialist Harry Huang to confirm that the figure was actually correct.  A jovial conversation between the two followed, with expressions of shock, amazement and elation.  In knowing the path the vessel took to auction, the consignor declared it “pretty awesome.”  She also recognized that it “outperformed” a similar piece sold at Christie’s for $14,000.

Then a couple of surprises were laid on yours truly.  It turns out two of the original details of the story given to me are in need of correction.  The vessel was actually bought in a little antique shop somewhere in Visalia, California for not $50, but $30!!!  Seriously, where is this store and are they open before Christmas?

 


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