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November 25, 2009

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Strapped collectors sell jewels, treasures

THE global economic downturn is forcing some collectors to part with artworks, and some rare pieces are appearing at auction. Likewise, jewelry from strapped fashionistas is going under the hammer.

Around 550 pieces of porcelain, jade carvings, jewelry and wristwatches will be sold at the Council & Sinwa Alliance auction in Hong Kong next Monday.

Nearly 400 pieces come from Japanese, Hong Kong and Taiwan collectors.

"The advantage of pieces consigned by overseas collectors is that they all have a clear provenance," says Dong Guoqiang, general manager of Beijing's Council International Auction Co Ltd. "If you are a shrewd buyer, you definitely will find some pieces with a lower market price."

Jewelry is a good buy.

"The reason is simple: The Japanese economy is not good and some collectors want to cash in," Dong says.

For example, a pair of Tiffany's diamond earrings is priced at HK$26,000-36,000 (US$3,355-$4,465) and a Cartier diamond bracelet is priced at HK$35,000-45,000.

The price of antique Chinese ceramics and jade carvings is still daunting.

The highlight of the auction is an extremely rare famille-rose "hundred boys" vase produced in the period of Emperor Daoguang's reign (1821-1850) of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The vase has a beautiful curve with a long neck and two ruyi-shaped handles. The scene depicted is a dragon boat race with small boys rowing. The landscape, costumes and facial expressions are precise and vivid.

The vase is estimated at HK$600,000-800,000.

Many of the ceramics under auction were made at an ancient imperial kiln, noted for producing delicate texture and brilliant hues.

"The global economic turndown sometimes is also an opportunity for the buyers, because some of the really rare good pieces now start to appear on the market," Dong says.


Date: November 29-30


Date: November 30, 2pm

Address: 8/F, Happy Valley Stand (Entrance B), Happy Valley Racecourse, Hong Kong Jockey Club


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