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Big demand for Chinese antiques and art - and fishing reels - at auction in Canterbury

By Gerry Warren

A 300-year-old Chinese rhinoceros horn cup has sold for £84,000 at auction in the city - more than double its estimate.

It was the star lot of a two-day sale at the Canterbury Auction Galleries where Chinese antiques and art were the most sought after by collectors.

A rare 18th century Chinese rhinoceros horn cup which sold for £84,000
A rare 18th century Chinese rhinoceros horn cup which sold for £84,000

Standing just four inches tall, the 18th century octagonal cup, featuring carved prunus trees on a rocky landscape, was sold by a private collector to an overseas bidder.

It is also has a special certificate confirming its eligibility to be sold at auction because of its age.

But the biggest shock was the bidding for two Chinese water colours, attributed to the artist Zhao Shao’Ang, painted in the 40s, which were estimated to sell for between £700 and £1,000, but went under the hammer for £30,000 each.

A Chinese watercolour which sold for £30,000
A Chinese watercolour which sold for £30,000

Auctioneer Tony Pratt said: “We have never sold a Chinese rhinoceros horn cup and this was a particularly good example and the bidding was very keen.

“The prices reflected the growing demand for Chinese antiques, particularly from collectors.
He said: “The auction was quite buoyant across the board, continuing the trend of more private buyers, rather than the trade, investing in antiques.

“For example, an early 20th Century silvery coloured metal-mounted all diamond set jabot pin in the Cartier manner, with nine marquise cut diamonds sold for £26,000.”

Two rare pre-war Hardy Bros aluminium competition fishing reels also sold for £2,500 and £1,900 - well over their estimates.

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