Auctions – Just a click away
By William Gregory MRICS, Golding Young and Mawer.
THE development of online auctions moves on at a pace. Throughout this year, with the restrictions and limitations imposed by the pandemic, the online auctions have kept the Arts and Antiques market not simply ticking over, but flourishing.
The basic premise is that auctions put goods to the market. It can now be seen that the market finds the auction.
The combination of auction house investment in modern technologies and worldwide bidding platforms, along with traditional auction valuation services, brings the varied lots of a chattels auction to an eager audience of worldwide buyers.
Finally, the infrastructure for payments and delivery provides the final level of service, meaning the connection between auction house and worldwide buyers is just one click away.
Highlights from this year’s online auctions include: a fine Japanese ken tanto with dragon mounts, the double-sided blade with horimono depicting the standing figure of Fudo Myoo with flaming mandala beneath clouds, the reverse with similar decorations; ken tanto were usually made for presentation by swordsmiths to Buddhist temples for ritual.
This example, with an overall length of 41cm, sold for £26,000.
A Russian state porcelain factory figure by S S Pimenov of Vodonoski sold for £13,000. The polychrome decorated figure of a lady in flowing robes was dated to around 1922 and stood at 27cm high.
A Japanese two colour patinated bronze koro came with the added attraction that it had been gifted to the vendor by the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
Decorated with gilt piquet work embellishments, silvered inlays, coral and mother-of-pearl and signed Ohashi Yoshihashi, the combination of exquisite quality and solid provenance resulted in a final hammer price of £25,000.
Even a condition report of heavy damage did not deter potential bidders for a Chinese porcelain Ming style charger. Decorated in underglaze blue with bands of scrolling peonies, the reverse with floral sprays and six character double circle Yongzheng mark.
The 45cm charger finally sold for £16,000. A pleasant reminder, from 25 years ago in my career, of when the Manchester Evening News kindly used the headline: ‘Crackpot Buys Cracked Pot At Auction’.