It was certainly Ming and it was tentatively suggested it just might be an Imperial piece although that is purely potential provenance . . . But that was enough to lift off this small porcelain dragon box down-under.
The new record for a so-called dragon box was achieved at Bonham’s Sydney outpost,. The blue and white colored object from the 16th or 17th century sold for more than 140 times the lower bound of its $1,000-2,000 presale estimate for a final price, with 22% buyer’s premium, of $146,400.
Early bidding saw heavy interest both in the room and on the telephones. However, the field soon thinned to two Chinese collectors. One was bidding online while the eventual winner was in the room.
“Despite not being in mint condition, the dragon box is very rare as it is thought to be a Ming Dynasty imperial piece,” said Yves Klein of Bonhams.