At first glance it looks like a fairly ordinary Chinese dish, but it recently went on to make thousands at John Nicholson’s Orient auction in Surrey.
The female consignor of the dish who brought it into the auction house had said she wanted a reserve of £80 on the item. However, experts at the auction house soon realised it was worth much more. “We identified it as being a Ming-style longquan moulded celadon dish, decorated with a dragon, and we recommended a £500 estimate.”
Yet on the day of the sale, May 25, even this estimate for the 13.8-in diameter dish proved conservative as it eventually went on to sell for a highly impressive £16,000 – or 200 times the consignor’s original figure for a reserve.
John Nicholson’s said, “This price is certainly a pleasant surprise. We are delighted for the vendor.”