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Charll shared this beautiful Xianfeng (1851-1861) dated bottle depicting NeZha combating the Dragon King amongst a rolling sea of blue and eight mythical sea creatures.


Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
December 04, 2022, 03:36:47 pm
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62 B&W

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YT
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« on: December 27, 2020, 12:47:50 am »

Dear all,

Sharing an auction lot from Sothebys that I had missed. https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2020/arts-dasie-2/ensemble-de-62-tabatieres-en-porcelaine-bleu-blanc
Inside was a number of beautiful Blue and White like a couple of Dragon Bottles middle right, 12 Zodiac bottle on the right, landscape with figures on the left and quite a number of well painted flowers blossom bottles.

Anyone here followed this lot?

Cheers,
YT


* Paris 62 B&W.jpg (215.88 KB, 1500x493 - viewed 31 times.)
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Wattana
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2020, 07:20:25 am »

Hi YT,

This one passed under my radar. There were some beauties in there.

I don't believe I've ever seen that many bottles sold as ONE lot before.
It obviously worked. If the bottles had been sold in 2s and 3s, a fair number would certainly have remained unsold.
This way the seller got a 100% sale. I imagine it was probably an inheritance that someone wanted to get off their hands quickly and neatly. 

I wonder if this will become an auction trend.

Tom

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YT
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2020, 07:40:58 am »

Dear Tom,

This might really be a new trend. Yet I believe the price was good partly because this whole group are old and clean. Overall minimal damage which is rare in fragile porcelain.

I had to miss this due to a family emergency. Still, collection are all fated.

YT
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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2020, 11:35:45 am »


YT,

I saw this lot and looked over pretty well myself.  I could not entertain going for it due to the lot size, knowing it was going to be expensive as a group.  However, I was also not overly impressed with it as a group.  My impression was there were a number of good bottles, but the group as a whole had far too many of bottles that were not of any significant quality and were mediocre at best.  Given the price realized each bottle on the average was $475 US, and as whole this lot sold for about twice of what I would have expected.   Personally, I felt this was an interesting ploy by the auction house to boost the a realized price on mediocre bottles by having a number of quality bottles intermixed to seed the lot. 

Charll   
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Charll K Stoneman, Eureka, California USA, Collector Since 1979.

YT
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2020, 06:33:02 pm »

Dear Charll,

That's another way of looking at the sale. I won't mind taking over these seeded bottles simply for the condition they are in.

What I have heard from the auctioneers in another sale is that cost of sale has increased. There are simply too many good antiques in their hands and not enough allotment. Not sure if Sotheby’s Paris were having this issue too.

YT
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2020, 04:03:58 am »

Charll and YT,

I agree that it was an interesting ploy by Sothebys. And a successful one. I'm sure their competitors have made note, and may well start to move in that direction, i.e. larger group lots.
The downside is that it is unattractive to mature and selective collectors like us. So it limits the bidders. But it could be attractive to dealers wanting to build stock.
Auction houses citing rising costs is a lame excuse. Back in the 1970s they charged a 10% premium. Then it crept up to 20%, then 25%, with Bonhams now raking in 27.5%.
Since lot values have also risen, often at a greater rate than inflation, the premiums would have kept up anyway, without raising the percentage rate.

Tom
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Joey
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2020, 07:34:18 pm »

I agree with Tom.
But it worked this time.
I'm not sure it will work again.
Maybe,
Happy New Year 2021,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

YT
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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2020, 09:06:20 pm »

Charll and YT,

I agree that it was an interesting ploy by Sothebys. And a successful one. I'm sure their competitors have made note, and may well start to move in that direction, i.e. larger group lots.
The downside is that it is unattractive to mature and selective collectors like us. So it limits the bidders. But it could be attractive to dealers wanting to build stock.
Auction houses citing rising costs is a lame excuse. Back in the 1970s they charged a 10% premium. Then it crept up to 20%, then 25%, with Bonhams now raking in 27.5%.
Since lot values have also risen, often at a greater rate than inflation, the premiums would have kept up anyway, without raising the percentage rate.

Tom


Dear Tom,

Sothebys is now charging an overall 1% premium on top of the existing 25%.

YT
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2021, 12:40:45 am »

Hi Charll,
The shape of things to come...?
In reality, by the time you've added shipping costs, insurance cover and import duties, the lots are costing 40-50% more than the hammer price.
Unless one is picking up a real bargain, buying from reputable dealers is becoming more attractive.

Tom
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Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2021, 01:54:30 am »

Dear Tom, all.
There is another very dangerous side to consider, and it is the case when your item is not sold. In that case, it is a real bleeding. They will ask you an absurd cost for shipping back the item. They act the same way as if they had to ship a Caravaggio painting, instead of a snuff bottle. On top, they are not shamed in asking you the cost of pictures for the catalog.
Giovanni
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Joey
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2021, 07:55:14 pm »

Dear Giovanni,

   Happy New Year 2021.
Yes, there can be all sorts of hidden costs to milk the consigner: A photography fee, as you correctly pointed out; an insurance fee; a cataloguing fee; a storage fee; possibly a handling fee.

But when I was putting a group of SBs into Christie's HK, Colin Sheaf, was then at Christie's. He's been a friend through the ICSBS since we met at my first convention, in Hong Kong in 1978. He had the discretion to  waive all fees but the vendor's commission, and I happily agreed.
Of course, the bottles had been given to Sotheby's London first, because I trusted the late Robert Kleiner, then working there.
Clare was adamant that I not pay any additional fees, and Sotheby's wanted to tack on a transportation fee from London to HK as well!
Colin was very happy to have 28 'Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of JB Silver', especially since he'd 'stolen' the deal out from under Robert Kleiner!
Clare negotiated everything for me.
I'd never have known: A. That one could; and B. How to.

She then told me an amusing Bon Mot which I've never forgotten:
Christie's is a Merchant trying to be a Gentleman, while Sotheby's is a Gentleman trying to be a Merchant.
 
A Merchant trying to be a Gentleman, assumes all Gentlemen are honest, so strives to be even more honest.
A Gentleman trying to be a Merchant, assumes all Merchants are thieves, so strives to be a bigger thief...

Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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