In a suburb of Buffalo, NY, a Chinese Moon Flask was just sold for $1.55m. The price and location are a quick reminder of the sustained demand for Chinese works of art no matter how remote the vendor. In this case, the vase had been owned by the same couple for 50 years.
Buffalo, NY was a different place 50 years ago, still a vital manufacturing city in Western New York State. The vase was brought into Antiques World by the owners who didn’t know the value of what they possessed. Neither did the auctioneer:
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. […] 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 [….] 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.
Chinese Vase Goes for $1.55m at Auction (Buffalo News)