The antique market is like a mysterious palace, in which there are countless precious but hidden from most of the world. The majority of people consider themselves “too poor” to afford loving and collecting art, believing the pleasure belonged only to the small group of extreme wealth.
However this is not the truth. Christie's Hong Kong held "The Pavilion Sale" on Chinese ceramics and works of art yesterday (April 4), and one of the lot offered, a Jian persimmon-glazed tea bowl of Southern Song dynasty was sold for only HK$5,000 (excluding buyer's premium). Not just the rich, but common people may also afford buying art at auctions!
Usually there is a reserve price set for every lot in an auction, that the sales amount of the lot must reach a certain level for successful transaction. But this Jian tea bowl is a "lot offered without reserve", which means regardless of how much its sales amount turns out to be, high or low, having met the pre-sale estimate or not, the lot will still be sold to the highest bidder. In other words, if a buyer bids the lot at only HK$1, as long as no other bidder offers a better price, he can effortlessly get the lot with such an unimaginably low price.
This Jian tea bowl, with a low estimate of HK$30,000, first called a price at HK$15,000. The sale room remained extremely quiet for moments. Not until a buyer in the room raised his paddle offering a far lower price of HK$1,500, the silence broke and the atmosphere got heated up. Paddles going up and down, the lot was finally hammered at HK$5,000.
Five thousand dollars for an ancient art piece, coming from the famous kiln of Jian with a history traced back to Southern Song dynasty—it seems to be a better choice than spending extravagantly on those luxurious brands.
The Jian persimmon-glazed tea bowl (lot 39) is covered with a lustrous glaze of reddish-brown tone, stopping irregularly just above the foot. Its diameter reaches 12.9 cm. Including the buyer's premium, the total purchase price is HK$6,250.
This bronze figure of Guandi (lot 81) was also offered without reserve. It was hammered at HK$15,000, only half of the low estimate of HK$30,000. Including the buyer's premium, the total purchase price equals HK$18,750。"The Pavilion Sale" totally presented 240 Chinese artworks, among which 20 lots had no reserve price.