In previous posts, we’ve identified Vancouver as a popular place for art fraud in the form of fakes. But last week there was good news in the form of a pair of Qing dynasty chairs discovered in a Vancouver Island church which sold at Sotheby’s for well above the high estimate:
A financially challenged Anglican church in B.C. has received a remarkable $630,000 windfall after discovering that a pair of antique armchairs donated to the parish decades ago were actually 300-year-old Qing dynasty treasures from China.
The chairs, recently described as a “godsend” by the Rev. Robert Arril, rector of St. Matthias Anglican Church in Victoria, were sold Tuesday at a Sotheby’s auction in New York for about triple their estimated value of $180,000-$250,000.
An antique furniture buff’s fortuitous visit to the church two years ago for a Bible study session led to the identification of the chairs as rare pieces expertly crafted in 17th-century China.