A vase that was listed to sell for up to $5000, instead sold for half a million dollars at an auction in Claremont last night.
The 34cm high, antique Chinese porcelain vase, priced in the catalogue at between $2500 to $5000, instead went for 100 times its listed maximum.
Attendees at McKenzies Auctioneers were astonished when the vase, fiercely bid for by several buyers, soared in price until finally settling above $500,000.
“I couldn’t believe it,” a Perth local who attended the auction tells The Starfish.
“I was waiting to bid for another item, when this vase came up for grabs.
“No fuss was made of this item. It was listed after a couple of other Chinese vases had already gone under the hammer.
The auctioneer, Peter McKenzie, displayed the vase, attributed to artist Wang Defun (1888 – 1961) and the bidding began.
“And it just kept going and going. Suddenly it was going for more than 50K, then 100K, then 200K, and so on.
“Most items were sold within two or three minutes; this took about half an hour. But the atmosphere was electrifying! It was down to one buyer in the room and a couple on the phone. Everyone was amazed.”
None more so, perhaps, than the auctioneer who said he would have some good news to impart to the lucky seller.
Mckenzies stand to benefit too from the sale; instead of making around $800 (i.e. 16 per cent from both the buyer and seller) had it gone for the listed minimum of $2500, the auction house stands to make $160,000.
The Starfish contacted McKenzies but nobody was available to comment.
How the item was described in the catalogue:
Attributed to Wang Dafun (1888 – 1961)
Est. price: $2500.00 – $5000.00
Attributed to Wang Dafun (1888 – 1961) Porcelain Vase Painted in Fencai colours Early 20th Century Attributed to Wang Dafun (1888 – 1961) Depicting family socialising in garden. Having artists Inscription, signature and seal mark on base Height 34cm. Provenance: Inherited within family since c.1900.
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