A rare Chinese Tibetan temple vase exceeded all expectations when it was offered for auction at Crewkerne last week.
Measuring 26.5cm (10.5 inches) high and consigned for sale by a Wiltshire man whose ancestor acquired it while working as a solicitor in Shanghai in the early 20th century, it had spent the last 30 years on his brother’s mantelpiece.
Lawrences Fine Art Auctioneers, who auctioned the vase, said the instantly recognisable shape is associated with 18th century design and the vase carries marks purporting to date the object to the reign of the Emperor Jiaqing (1760-1820).
A strong price was anticipated following a swathe of world-wide pre-sale enquiries and a bank of telephone bidders on the day. However, when auctioneer Neil Grenyer opened the bidding, interest online rapidly exceeded £200,000 before those on the telephones and in the room, who were itching to bid on the vase, had their first opportunity to join in. At £240,000, there were still four bidders in contention and the vase eventually sold to a Hong Kong-based dealer bidding over the telephone.
The total price, including the auctioneers’ premium, was just over £305,000.