Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Antique Collector's Mistake Cost Him $200,000 in Britain

A Pair is Worth Three Times As Much As One Item

In the antiques business a very good general rule of thumb a pair of great things are worth three to five times
Antique Collector's Mistake Cost Him $200,000 in Britain

Kangxi Imperial Marked Bowl Base

as much of just one object. The reasons are many, not the least of which pairs of great rarities are rare. Over the years pairs are often broken up. Siblings settling estates will split a pair so each has at least one from mom, dad or grandparents. 

A situation in England at Canterbury Auction Galleries illustrates the point perfectly. Canterbury is a terrific local auction house located in Canterbury in the county of Kent. It's an easy drive an hour or so east of London. Check their site periodically, they get into some good estates....
Imperial Kangxi Pheasant Bowl

Rare Imperial Kangxi Marked Bowl


A Pair of Early 18th C. Kangxi Period Imperial Chinese Bowls, WOW A Pair!

A while ago Tony Evans a local antiques collector consigned a very rare Chinese Kangxi period Pheasant Bowl to Canterbury for auction. Simple enough, it was a terrific mark and period bowl with a pre-sale estimate of 8,000 to 12,000 pounds. Due to the massive demand for fine quality Chinese works of art and in particular Imperial porcelain examples like this bowl the final selling price was 235,000 pounds..

Shortly after the sale the seller realized he had given his son Simon the mate to this bowl 30 years earlier as a gift. Back then it wasn't nearly as valuable and the gift had been forgotten by both father and son until the dad's bowl sold..

Canterbury Auction Kangxi Bowl

Reverse of Kangxi Pheasant Bowl

Regrettably they learned too late, had the pair been offered together they very likely would have reached over 300,000 pounds each or 600,000 pounds or more for the pair. The second bowl is scheduled to be sold in April 16-17th, 2013 and estimated to bring around the same selling price of the previous example. Frankly I suspect it may do better as the buyer of the first is very possibly going to want to reunite the pair and will push the price accordingly. 

The two bowls were originally bought by Tony Evans' father while working in China during the 1920 on behalf of the Anglo/Chinese mining company located in the port city of Tientsin not far from Beijing. It was during that time he began collecting and had acquired the bowls, along with other items. His son Tony (now 80) became a collector during the 1960's and 70's. 

Simon has opted to sell the second bowl rather than worry about it being damaged or stolen. Not a bad idea at all.

So the next time you get a pair of something, hang on to them...breaking them up could be very expensive down the road.

You can read the entire story  as it was reported on "Mail Online" by Emily Davies
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