The Financial Times reports that British judges have ruled in favor of breaking up the Ming porcelain collection of Sir Michael Butler so his four children may each have equal shares.
Two of Butler’s children wanted the collection to stay in tact. One daughter told the FT, “When my father started collecting, there were two sales a month — and now you would be lucky to have two a year. This is simply stuff that you don’t find any more.”
The high court had ruled that the 502-piece collection must be divided between the four siblings, despite a bitter battle fought by the two younger children, Katharine and Charles, to retain the ceramics in their purpose-built museum in Dorset.
Sir Michael, a former permanent representative to the European Commission, started collecting the distinctive blue and white ceramics more than 50 years ago. One expert has described it as “the finest collection of its kind in the world”.
The Financial Times quotes independent Chinese art researcher Regina Krahl approving of the quality of the “pots.”
“There’s nothing like it in China, and there is nothing of its breadth and depth anywhere else in the world.”
Family spat shatters Thatcher aide’s Ming collection (FT.com)