A PIECE of Chinese porcelain with an estimated value of just £130-£150 has sold for a staggering £34,300 at auction.
The blue and white table screen, painted by renowned Chinese ceramic artist Wang Bu (1898-1968) sparked a flurry of online bids from the UK and overseas before it was eventually sold to a Canadian buyer.
The 63cm-high screen was one of a number of oriential artefacts to go under the hammer at Barnard Castle auctioneers Addison's first sale of the year.
Senior auctioneer and valuer Richard Edwards said: “There is a strong market for Chinese objects at the moment but even so the appeal of individual objects can sometimes take you by surprise.
“This item far exceeded its estimate so there was a palpable tension in the saleroom as the bidding war for the screen escalated to such a height.”
Wang Bu’s career spanned more than 60 years and he is particularly well known for his work in underglaze blue and white decoration.
This earned him the title of oringhua dawang – the king of blue and white - and today his work is held in various key museums as well as being much sought after by collectors.
Chinese objects proved popular with buyers at the January 3 sale.
Another porcelain table screen which went under the hammer at the antiques and interiors auction sold for £1,600 – exceeding its guide price of £50-£70.
A Chinese porcelain teapot, painted with a mountainous landscape and calligraphy, reached £600, which fell within its price estimate.
Mr Edwards added: “It is certainly a buoyant time for the trade of oriental objects, in particular artefacts from China with record prices being achieved for period porcelain and other disciplines, including furniture and art.
“The popularity of internet bidding is also ensuring worldwide exposure for such items and is pushing up the prices at sales.”
Addison’s next auction will be an antiques and interiors sale on January 17, followed by another on January 31.