Chinese Bronze Fu, ca. 1873
Appraised Value: $7,000 - $10,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:18)
Bonhams & Butterfields, SF
GUEST: I went to an antique consignment store and I found this. I was attracted to this. I check it, and I didn't buy it; I left. A week after, I came back and I got it. My problem only is I don't know how to read Chinese, so I talked to at least seven people. This is old-- that's all they can say.
APPRAISER: This is modeled on an old Chinese bronze form that was made as a food vessel for a wealthy official to be buried with him when he died...
GUEST: Oh, my God.
APPRAISER: ...so that he would have food in the afterlife.
APPRAISER: Now, this original form, called a fu bronze, was made between the seventh century B.C. and the third century B.C. Now, this piece is a later copy.
APPRAISER: This is what the inscription tells you, which is on the cover here. It also has other information that I have not been able to translate yet. It actually even has the name of the vessel that it imitated as part of the inscription. The date says, "Made in the 12th year of the reign of the Emperor TûngzhÏ," which translates to 1873. What did you pay for it?
GUEST: I paid $25, plus tax.
APPRAISER: $25 plus tax.
APPRAISER: This, five years ago, would have brought very little, but now, with the Chinese market in the big boom that it's in, this piece on the current market would carry a presale estimate of $7,000 to $10,000.
GUEST: You're kidding! I can hardly believe that. Oh, my God.
APPRAISER: For a $25 investment. You did a great job.
GUEST: Oh, thank you.
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