Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Fake Chinese Vase was No Fake

"Treasure in the attic fetches family $86 million"
Christine Kellett, The Sydney Morning Herald (November 15, 2010) (It's tomorrow there by now)

"It's being called the 'antiques story of the 21st century'.

"A British mother and son who found a rare Chinese vase while clearing out the attic of a dead relative hit the jackpot when it sold for $86 million.

"The small, family-owned auction house that underestimated its value by 40 times is now laying claim to selling the most expensive piece of Chinese porcelain ever, trumping the likes of Christie's and Sotheby's.

"Art historians across the country are scrambling to solve the riddle of how a Qing dynasty masterpiece ended up gathering dust in the roof space of a modest north-west London bungalow.

"And, in a new twist, claims have now emerged that the owner of the vase was told it was a fake after taking it for evaluation by experts on an Antiques Roadshow-style television program...."

(The Sydney Morning Herald, used w/o permission)

Which is a pretty good example of why it's a good idea to get a second opinion.

The vase is about 16 inches tall, and was bought at the auction by an "anonymous Chinese businessman," the article says.

For $86,000,000.

There's more detail in the article - including a brief look at what's been happening in China lately, that apparently let an individual have $86,000,000 to spend on a piece of pottery. Or porcelain. Or china. Or something like that.

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