27 May 2019
January 23, 2014 - Filed under: Auctions — Richard

Two ivory figures were the star of the show at a New Year auction held by Ahlers & Ogletree earlier this month. The Chinese antique tusks were sold at auction for $45,000 (£27,000) and became the main lot at the sale, stirring up interest from bidders.

The figures depict an emperor and empress, both around 36 inches high. The man stands with a document, his beard long and wavy, while the empress has her eyes closed while holding a basket of flowers in one hand and a ribboned item in the other. The figures each stand on a rectangular base, with scrolled feet beneath.

The auction attracted around 200 bidders in person, while over 2,000 people registered to bid online. Around 350 lots had bids placed that were received by telephone and a high number of absentee bids also came in.

While the antique ivory statuettes were one of the main attractions, the total sales amounted to just over $1 million (around £600,000).

According to Robert Ahlers of Ahlers & Ogletree, the bidding was spirited, both online and in person, although he stated that auctions around the new year are typically strong. In addition to the hammer price, a buyer’s premium is added, which makes an item a little more expensive.

The Chinese tusk figures may look attractive displayed in a traditional wooden cabinet or on an antique desk. Preston is just one of the cities in the UK where good quality antique furniture can be discovered. The price at a reputable dealer may be a little lower than at auction, as the buyer’s premium won’t be added.

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