When size doesn’t matter . . . chopped down Wanli vase rises to the occasion

Gloucestershire auctioneers Chorleys were pleasantly surprised at the end of last week when an object they had found lying around in a local farmhouse rather exceeded its estimate of £300-500. What was apparently a Wanli blue and white jar, with a 100 boys design, soared to £22,000 amidst frenzied bidding in the room and on the internet. Only it wasn’t. It hadn’t always been a humble jar . . .  Chorleys admit that it ‘started life’ as a vase. Its truncated status did not, however, deter the bidders which puts a whole new complexion on the phrase ‘with all faults’ . . .

wanli at chorleys

And it wasn’t the only high performer in the sale. We previously chose as our Object of Desire, on this site, a most unusual blue and white fishbowl. Almost certainly 18th century, it romped home at £18,000.

blue & white fish bowl at chorleys

We wrote last week about the collection of photographs of the Pekin riots in 1912. They made a respectable £550 – a good buy for somebody as they enjoyed serious historical importance.

Photos of 1912 Pekin riots to be sold by Chorleys

An interesting lot in terms of historical record comes up at Chorleys, the Gloucester auction house, next week (May 23). The photographs graphically illustrate the involvement of the great powers in the Chinese capital at the beginning of the last century.

1148 Chorleys At Chorleys May 23

Lot 1148 consists of a postcard and photographs relating to the Pekin riots of 1912, the postcard depicting the severed head of a looter and postmarked Pekin 18 Mars 12. It was sent to A de Castro Glubb Esq by one W. S. Woodroper.The photographs depict executed looters; Italian troops on guard outside their legation; French and German sentries guarding the East Gate of the Legation quarter; the East gate of the Forbidden City; the wall over the Chen Gate occupied by American troops during the mutiny of March 1912; the German fort; and Japanese troops guarding the water gate etc. There are 24 images total, all with inscriptions on the verso dated 1912

This interesting lot is estimated at £400 – 600