Why a duck bought for less than £6 could glide to glory at Hansons London July 7 auction

Posted on 05/07/2018 in Press Coverage

Some people think there aren’t many treasures left to be found for a song but it simply isn’t true, writes Charles Hanson.

Every week our antiques valuers uncover beautiful objects, often found by chance for less than £10, that turn out to be worth an awful lot of money.

For example, treasures can still be found at charity shops. Earlier this year we valued a ring a client bought for £5.50 at a charity shop in the London area.

She thought it was cheap costume jewellery. It turned out to be gold featuring a 2.30 carat diamond. It went under the hammer with an estimate of £7,000-£8,000.

On Saturday, July 7 Hansons London auction will get under way with another elegant object, bought for just a few pounds, in its midst - which is expected to glide to glory.

A beautiful jade duck was in a box of miscellaneous items which, together, cost only £6, last year. The owner decided to try to sell the duck on eBay and was astonished to see it ruffled a few feathers. She started getting generous offers flowing in straight away.

Realising the items could be worth a great deal more than she anticipated, and wishing to find out more, she withdrew the item from sale and bought it to us for inspection.

Luckily, Hansons offers free valuations every Wednesday and Friday at its office in Bridge Road, Hampton Court Village, and every Saturday morning at our London auction venue, the Normansfield Theatre in Teddington, with experts always on hand.

The beautifully carved jade duck turned out to be Chinese, Ming and late 19th century. Something like this would have taken weeks to carve. It has gone into our July 7 auction with an estimate of £800 to £1,200 and we’re very much hoping it will exceed expectations.

Right now, Chinese art and ceramics are surging to success at auction. The Chinese market has been booming for some time as the country’s growing numbers of wealthy collectors flock to repatriate what they regard as their history and heritage. And they have been paying huge prices for the privilege, frequently outbidding western collectors.

But it's far from the only sought-after item awaiting inspection in our July 7 London sale. It includes clocks, rugs and textiles, garden furniture, apothecary, Asian, Indian, Islamic and tribal objects, silver, watches and jewellery, European works of art and wines and spirits. Particularly stunning - and summery - is a huge Clarice Cliff pottery collection featuring more than 70 items, the vast majority being honey pots.

Hansons London July 7 auction will take place from 11am at the Normansfield Theatre, Langdon Down Centre, 2A Langdon Park, Teddington, TW11 9PS. Viewing at the theatre on Friday July 6, 2-9pm, and Saturday July 7, 8.30-11am.

You can browse the lots and bid live by registering with - click HERE to go to the Hansons London July 7 auction catalogue.

To find out more, please call 020 8979 7954, email [email protected] or visit