Rare Expensive Chinese Vase Surrounded By Controversy
Last year one of the most expensive things sold at auction was an 18th century Chinese porcelain vase which was sold for £43 million ($69.3 million) at Bainbridge's Auctions (£51.6 million after the buyers premium). The vase was only estimated to sell for £1.2 million at the small auction house but fierce bidding among Chinese would-be buyers drove up the price. The vase sold to a Chinese bidder who turned up to bid on behalf of an undisclosed buyer. But now the story continues with a new article from the Telegraph that says that buyer has a case of cold feet. Some say that the Chinese bidder, described as a wealthy industrialist had lost out on a similar auction and may have leaped before he looked. Or he could still be gathering money to pay for the vase.
The mysterious sellers have not been outed to the world. They are said to have found the double-walled vase among an old relative's possessions. There are some skeptics who wonder if the story about the vase is genuine.
What happens if the sale doesn't go through? In this case both the sellers and the auction house won't get their money and the auction house may also be liable for insurance and storage fees. According to the Telegraph article the best strategy would be the one employed by sellers around the world, approach the under bidders and find out if they are still interested. Otherwise the auction house may put it back up for auction where it likely won't sell for nearly as much on the second go-round.
Meanwhile the run on expensive Chinese vases continues. Just a few days ago a rare Chinese vase, also found in an attic, brought in more than £500,000 at auction. BBC News reports that the Qianlong porcelain planter was bought by a telephone bidder on the line from Hong Kong for £520,000 at Murray's Auctioneers on Friday, soaring above an estimate of between £40,000 and £60,000.