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Skinner Auction June 2nd, 3rd and 4th

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Author Topic: Skinner Auction June 2nd, 3rd and 4th  (Read 333 times)
Peter Bentley 彭达理
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« on: May 25, 2011, 09:00:23 am »

Hi George

Hey, that's  really interesting !  Let me  explain why ...

 I went  to  the  Bonhams  Bloch III  auction  today   - not as busy as  Bloch  I and II  last year, but  still a  sellout  and  some  stellar  prices  - some  up to  USD500,000  for    some rare bottles  ( check  Bonham's  website  for  details  - it's a beautiful  website)  . But  there  were   some   fine   Zhou  Leyuans    which  went  for  under  USD12K ( inclusive  of buyer's  20%  premium)   and   even an  1898     Bi  Rongjiu that  went  for  as low as  USD 4K   !   That's  less than  I have paid recently  for a  really top class  modern  IPB.   Apart  from  some  rare   Ma  Shaoxuan   portaits ,  very   few  Middle  period  IPBs  went  for  over  USD25K  .

The  amazing    thing was the    immense  variety  of the  bottles  :  really all  sorts , and some  very  beautiful  indeed  . But   to my totally  untrained   eye  ( and taste)   you can  have  swopped the  Skinner's   website for  Bonhams  Bloch III and  I would  have been  hard  pushed to  say which was  which  ...except  for the  IPBs.
There  really are some  beauties  on the  Skinner's    site. I have no idea  of their  provenance, but  frankly  when  it  comes to  stone carved and  other   similar  bottles  I  would  only want to  pay for the   skill and  beauty, regardless of  whether the  bottle  was  created   2  years  or  200 years  ago.   

So if  I was  inclined to   start a  collection of  " all  sorts" of    snuff bottles, I would  happily go to  the  Skinner's  auction and buy the  lot, assuming they  all go  finally  for a  few  USD  hundreds   each  (   but  certainly   not    if  for  USD  thousands   each )

Guess that  tells   a lot  about  how  unsophisticated  my taste  is  :  or  maybe   it shows rather that  I  don't  care  at all    about  "age"    as  long  as an art object is truly  beautiful  and well-made , especially  something that  is   purely a  stone or  ivory  carving

That's   also  why  I'm totally  in love  with  Modern  IPBs  :  I think that their  beauty and  skill  is    quantum levels  higher than any  Middle  school  bottle so I'm willing to  pay   a lot for  that , buying  ( now)  what I personally  think is the   creme  de la   creme  of   the  works  of the  best Modern  artists  who paint   the landscape  themes   which I love. 

Guess  there's a great   divide  in the  collecting  world  :   on  the  one  side there's  those   who  collect  only the rarest and  most expensive, for  whom  provenance is  the be all and  end  all.  Those were   today's  ( rich)  buyers  at Bonhams   Bloch III , for  whom  price  is  no  matter  because   such  attested   pieces  will  invevitably   go  up  for ever  due to their  rarity  value . On the  other  side there's  those   who just collect  what they  think are  beautiful ,as  long as they can afford  them  . That's me   , and I'm happy to be  just  little  me, and proud as a  cat with  two   tails   about    my   growing   little   collection .

Cheers  Peter

PS  :   Off to  Beijing tomorrow  for the  Wang Xisan   Museum opening   ceremony  on friday  : should  be    quite a  party,  and I heard there's a  bunch  of  ICSBS    big-name  members  also  joining besides  about    30  new  mainland Chinese  members being welcomed to the  ICSBS

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