SYDNEY.- A rare piece of blue-and-white Chinese porcelain sourced in Melbourne sold for more than 140 times its estimate during heated bidding at Bonhams Asian Art sale in Sydney yesterday.
In front of a packed room at the auction houses Paddington showroom, two bidders battled it out for a 16th-17th century dragon box that had a presale estimate of just $1000-$2000.
The dragon box eventually sold for a whopping $146,400, including buyers premium of 22%, an auction record for Chinese porcelain of this type in Australia, and possibly the world.
With multiple in-room bidders as well as phone and internet bidders, the contest finally came down to two Asian collectors, one in the Paddington saleroom and one online. The in-room collector secured the piece.
Bonhams Asian Art specialist, Yvett Klein, said there had been strong interest in the dragon box prior to the auction but she was still astounded with the final sale price.
Despite not being in mint condition, the dragon box is very rare as it is thought to be a Ming Dynasty imperial piece, Ms Klein said.
Like anything with a royal connection, this touch of glamour and exclusivity adds immeasurably to the value of item.