Japanese Incense Burner, ca. 1870
Appraised Value: $15,000 - $20,000 (1998)
$6,000 - $8,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:09)
GUEST: This was in the attic of a relative.
APPRAISER: In the attic of a relative.
GUEST: And I fell in love.
APPRAISER: What do you know about it?
GUEST: I know that it's Oriental, and that it's bronze.
APPRAISER: Well, it's not just bronze. It's also copper and a metal called shakudo. It's a combination of various alloys that turns a blue-black color. And that shakudo is in the faces of the dragons and some of the other elements of the dragons along the neck of the vase up here.
GUEST: What is the gold-colored metal?
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: And it's also signed. This cartouche here, which reads "Kho Mien," is the maker's name. Then it's also signed up top on the back of the little boy.
GUEST: Oh, I didn't notice that one.
APPRAISER: It's Meiji period, which is like 1868 to 1911. But probably from the earlier part of that period, the 1860s, 1870s. The boy is training a hawk, and he has a little pouch on the side here that's for food, treats for the hawk, to keep it doing the tricks that he wants him to do. And the surface of the bronze is textured all over. That's done with a hammer and a little chisel. It has two reserve medallions-- one with the signature with a tiger and a bunch of pine trees. On the reverse, it has a Buddhist saint called an arhat, or a rakan in Japanese, who's lecturing a tiger on Buddhist religion.
GUEST: Oh, wow.
APPRAISER: The bronze is beautifully worked. Very, very fine technique. Did you have any idea what it was worth?
GUEST: No, not at all.
APPRAISER: Probably $15,000 to $20,000.
GUEST: Oh, my gosh. Oh, wow.
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