China’s porcelain hunters are back. After a long pause, there seems to be growing demand for ferreting out undervalued pots at smaller and regional auction houses. This trend was rampant in 2012 but had died down. Yesterday, Katya Kazakina reports on Bloomberg, the bidders were back at Doyle’s pushing a pair of Qianlong vases from $10k to $1.2m:
About 12 hopeful collectors yesterday vied for the vases with bids by phone and in the room at Doyle. The winner was an agent in the room who bought on behalf of an anonymous client, according to Rabstenek, who declined to say where the collector was based.
The original owner of the vases was George Upham Harris, the publicity director for the New York Stock Exchange who died in 1971, according to Doyle. The vases passed through the family to the consigner.
In a market plagued by forgeries, the provenance “assured the buyers that they weren’t made yesterday,” Rabstenek said. “Just because they have this mark on the bottom doesn’t mean they were made in the 18th century. Qianlong pieces were copied in 19th century, 20th century and they are copied now.”