Rare Chinese Moon Flask sells for $1.5 Million at Auction
here at our May 2011 Auction
An antique dealer from China outbid a London art dealer Saturday, May 7th, 2011 at an auction in Clarence, paying $1.55 million for a rare 250-year-old Chinese vase found in a nearby home.
Tang Tao, from Shanghai, won the duel at Antique World after several minutes of feverish back-and-forth with Richard Peters, a British antiques dealer who specializes in Chinese porcelain and other art.
Both attended the auction in person, although several other bidders also participated by phone from Hong Kong, London and other parts of the United States. Tao represented several other Chinese antique dealers, and was accompanied by John Zhu and Qiang Yuan, both of New York City.
"We were excited," said Zhu, who spoke for Tao and Yuan. "Bidding something over $1 million is a shot in the heart."
The vase, which is "probably an imperial piece," will be taken back to China and probably resold, Zhu said, although he wasn't certain.
Known as a Chinese moon flask, the large bulbous white vase dates to the Qinlong dynasty in China, between 1736 and 1795. It is called a moon flask because its round shape resembles the moon, and features a dragon painted in bright red, surrounded by other patterns in blue, and was apparently used for unknown ritual purposes.
The flask had been in the possession of an unidentified Clarence couple for at least 50 years, and recently was brought to auctioneer Kelly Schultz of Antique World. The family had "decided to part ways with it," but "really didn't have any idea how valuable it is," said Benjamin Schultz, Kelly Schultz's son.
Nor did Schultz until less than a week ago, when routine online postings of the auction started drawing intense interest from around the globe. In the end, a total of seven bidders registered and expressed interest in the vase, including by phone from Hong Kong and London, and from some who drove in from Connecticut and New York City.
The price was the highest priced item ever sold at Antique World by Schultz. Tao's group will also pay a 13.5 percent buyer's premium to Schultz, or $201,500. A similar vase went for $1.8 million at another recent auction elsewhere.
More than 250 people attended the auction, at which 720 other items were also sold from a Rochester museum that Schultz would not identify and from the collection of a longtime East Aurora dealer, Eleanor Aquard, who died last year.
Article from BuffaoNews.com