Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Family thrilled as Ming dynasty dish sells for 100 times the expected price

The 25cm Chinese porcelain dish owned by a family in Northern Ireland that sold for £271,000

A Chinese porcelain dish owed by a family in Northern Ireland for a century has sold at auction for more than 100 times its estimate.

The 25cm ceramic — snapped up for €310,000 (£271,000) by a collector — was expected to fetch about €3,000 (£2,600) at the Adam's sale.

The piece was in a Londonderry family since an ancestor, serving in China with the Army, brought it home in 1905.

James O'Halloran of Adam's, said the sale was a windfall for the family — who want to remain anonymous. He said: “They were thrilled, absolutely delighted. There was no expectation that it was going to make that sort of money.”

The ceramic dish was among 700 pieces that went under the hammer at Adam's Irish Country House Collection Sale in Slane Castle.

It is estimated the blue and white porcelain circular dragon dish, from the Ming dynasty, is at least 500 years old. Painted with a five-claw dragon on a ground of lotus scrolls and tendrils, it set a new Irish record for a piece of porcelain.

Five telephone bidders and one Chinese national in the salesroom battled it out for the piece, before it was snapped up by a London-based collector.

Meanwhile an eight-centimetre Chinese Jade carving of a dog of Fo with a puppy on his back, which was expected to fetch €1,200 (£1,000), sold for €35,000 (£30,000).

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