An auction house in Wokingham was stunned at a recent sale, as a rare Chinese artefact was sold for a record price.
A jade Bi disc was presented for sale at Martin and Pole auction house on 24th May, believed to be worth in excess of £1,000. The disc, at 8cm high, is thought to date around the late 18th early 19th century, and has an asymmetric scroll design. The earliest discs originate from the later Stone Age period, identified by a hole in the centre of the piece. However, experts are unsure of their exact use. At a later date, the discs were used in ceremonies and worship, to indicate a specific rank or status.
The antique previously belonged to the deceased father of the vendor, who had worked in Hong Kong for the Ministry of Defence during the 1960s and 70s. Another item which had been included in the sale, was a jade pendant, which had also belonged to his father, and sold for £2,100. Matthew Coles, the auctioneer, said that the auction house realised that the Chinese disc would sell for more than £1,000 due to the high levels of interest. However, on the day of the sale, the auction house received online bids from Taiwan, Canada and China.
The buyer was a telephone bidder from China, who closed the deal with a bid of £10,500. The purpose of the Chinese disc may remain unknown, but it will enhance the décor in the lounge of the buyer’s home, perhaps standing on an antique coffee table.
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