An ancient chipped Chinese dish – originally bought for around £3 - sparked an international phoneline bidding war at auction to sell for tens of thousands of pounds.
Despite having a chip on the rim and some surface scratches, the centuries-old blue and white dish decorated with gardenia flowers - unearthed by Hansons London - sold for £100,000.
And today the delighted seller, who had no idea of its potential value, revealed that his father paid as little as £3 for the dish at a country house sale in the 1950s.
Eight phone bidders battled it out at Hansons Saleroom, Normansfield Theatre, Teddington, to restore the plate to its homeland – and a Chinese buyer succeeded in securing the rare antique.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons London, said: “The dish was found languishing on a dresser next to a few plates worth £25. The vendor had no idea of its worth.
“It’s highly valuable because it carries the Chinese Yongzheng mark of the period 1723-1735. It’s nearly 300 years old and its striking reverse decoration with raised slip detailing is inspired by the Ming and Yuan ceramics of the preceding dynasties.
“Similar examples are held in major museums around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Nezu Museum in Tokyo.
“The vendor is delighted and tells me his father paid around £3-£5 for this dish in a country house sale in the mid-1950s.
“Wealthy Chinese collectors deluged us with enquiries when they heard the object was in our September (8th) auction, such is the demand for these valuable Oriental antiques.
“The Chinese market is booming as the country’s growing numbers of wealthy collectors flock to repatriate
“Yet again, this result shows us how important it is to get items valued, particularly Oriental objects.”
The Chinese dish, lot 49, was sold at Hansons London Saleroom, Normansfield Theatre, 2A Langdon Park, Teddington on Saturday, September 8. Its original guide price was £70,000-£100,000. To find out more, email [email protected] or call 020 8979 7954.
Hanson London offers free valuations every Saturday, 9.30am-12.30pm, at its saleroom, Normansfield Theatre, 2A Langdon Park, Teddington, TW11 9PS; every Wednesday and Friday, 10am-4pm at Hansons London Valuation office, 77 Bridge Road, East Molesey, KT8 9HH, and on Tuesdays at 23 Jameson Street, Notting Hill, W8 7SH. Oriental art expert Adam Schoon and jewellery expert Kate Bliss are available to value items for free on various dates at all three venues. To find out more, email [email protected], call 020 8979 7954 or visit www.hansonslondon.co.uk.