Chinese plant pots sold at Blomqvist auction for NOK 700,000

Chinese plant pots sold at Blomqvist auction for NOK 700,000

Worth its weight in porcelain? It seems that the Chinese man is now the lucky owner of these two plant pots. Photo: Blomqvist

How much would you pay for two china planters painted cobalt blue underglaze and crane painting?

– The Chinese are crazy, shouted the general director of Knut Forsberg Auction House to VG.

The value of the Chinese plant pots was actually between NOK 10,000 and NOK 15,000, but then there was a bidding war.

The first offer came in at 12.29 and was a meager NOK 8,000.

About 10 hours later at 20:19, the last offer came in at NOK 700,000 – 87 times more.

– They don't like to lose. Forsberg says they're out to win.

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– Pop champagne

Blomkvist is in a cheerful mood:

– Tomorrow we will probably have to drink champagne, says Knute Meyerer to VG.

He is the auction house's chief expert on Asian objects and art.

– When it comes to china, nothing is ordinary anymore. We never know where the bunny will jump, there are constant surprises.

Before the auction, people called from China and the Chinese traveled to Stockholm and Copenhagen to look at the antiques. Meyerer says he and his colleagues “worked like vultures.”

Happiness in Old Things: Expert Knut Merer, here with an early 18th-century teapot that originally belonged to the family of Augustus the Strong of Saxony. Photo: Blomqvist

– He says: – We give up, but we keep calm until the money is in the account.

Most buyers of Chinese porcelain are specifically Chinese – in China.

– Often when we get these fancy prizes, we don't know if they will pay out or not.

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Myrer points to the fact that even if someone wins a bidding war, they may regret it — or bid just for fun.

– Difficulty traveling to China and taking money out of it.

A total of seven people were interested in the Chinese plant pots. When the price crossed NOK 220,000 shortly after 8pm on Tuesday evening, there were only two left.

You may be wondering:

What exactly is a planter?

“If you imagine a stately home in 18th-century China, or an imperial palace, if you like, they would often have delicious little plants in beautiful pots,” says expert Knut Merer.

He says it can remind us of bonsai trees.

– It can look very elegant if you have a beautiful planter or planter.

Where do plant pots come from?

The auction house said that the dishes belong to a collection acquired by a couple who worked at the Norwegian embassy in Beijing between 1967 and 1969. It was part of the Asian auction that ends on Tuesday.

Is there anything special about these plant pots?

– Yes, says Merer.

It bears the so-called imperial Yongzheng mark on the underside, which may indicate that it was made in the 18th century. But Blomkvist dates plant pots back to the early 1900s.

It has Doucai decoration in cobalt blue underglaze and enamel colors of iron red and green. The decor depicts landscape motifs with cranes.

Have they stood the test of time?

– no limits

Forsberg says the greatest interest is in items that were initially intended for the Chinese market, not ceramics made for export to the West.

-We are struggling with the fact that there are quite a few Chinese people who are bidding, and they have no limits. It's something every auction house in the world experiences. They don't always reconcile, Forsberg says.

In this case, the three highest bidders are Chinese, but they were all registered with the auction house last year. So Forsberg is optimistic they will get paid.

Knut Forsberg
<-Knut Forsberg

Managing Director, Blomqvist

Next please

If the winner is not settled, it will be offered to the second highest bidder.

– But we have had sales of a similar size before: the price started with a few thousand kroner, and rose to more than 400,000 kroner, as the customer settles himself. “I hope this will be one of our good customers,” he says.

In 2021, 14 different bidders wanted to purchase a set of ten small china bowls. He wrote that the price had risen from NOK 3,000 to NOK 400,000. then.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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