Filed under: Auctions
We recently saw a gem-encrusted rug fetch over $5 million will a tortoiseshell box be as lucky? An 8th-century tortoiseshell vanity box which dates back to the Tang Dnyasty will be auctioned off at Sotheby's Hong Kong on April 8. It is estimated to fetch 40 million Hong Kong dollars (around $5 million). And that price, according to a Bloomberg article in Februrary represents a 30 percent downward price revision to keep pace with falling prices.
The box measures over a foot across and is embedded with mother-of-pearl and amber in shapes of flowers. It shows the mature style of the 'High Tang' period of the mid-8th century. It is one of three similar boxes which were originally preserved in the Sh?s?in compound of the Great Eastern Temple in Nara. Of the other two, one still remains in the Sh?s?in, the other is preserved in the Museum Yamato Bunkakan, also in Nara. Will the box get its price? I think even in this economy it probably will because of the rarity and beauty of the piece.