Local auctioneer Ivan Street’s routine visit to a property just outside the city came up with an object which has just broken house records for Aldridge’s of Bath.
A Yongzheng celadon ‘flowers and fruit’ bowl fetched £220,000 (plus 10 per cent buyer’s premium) when it was sold at auction recently.
It went into the sale with an estimate of £20 to 30 thousand pounds but – following a five minute exchange between six interested parties – it was sold to a UK agent acting on behalf of a Chinese client.
The 13½in (34cm) ‘flowers and fruit’ bowl is part of a group of Chinese celadon porcelain made during the reign of the emporer Yongzheng (1723-35), moulded and carved with peony, lotus and rose blossom and sprays of peach, pomegranate and persimmon, known as the ‘three abundances’ or suando motif.
The bowl, discovered by auctioneer Ivan Street during a routine visit to a property just outside Bath, had been bequeathed in 1959 to the owner by her godmother, Miss Vera Crossman of Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge.
As a regular client of nearby Harrods, it is thought she might have bought it from their antiques department in the immediate post-war years.
“We immediately knew that it was something special, and the owner had always appreciated it as a beautiful object. After a great deal of research we had established that it could sell for a figure in the region of £50,000, but placed a cautious estimate of £20,000-30,000”, said Ivan Street.
“The high level of interest had raised our expectations to possibly £100,000 by the morning of the sale. It eventually sold for £220,000 after a lengthy battle between a top London dealer, and a collector from mainland China. This is double the price achieved by the last example that appeared at a major Hong Kong auction.”