Rare Chinese disc fetches £10,500 at Wokingham auction

A RARE Chinese artefact stunned a Wokingham auction house last week when it sold for an astonishing £10,500.

The jade Bi disc, which is believed to date to the 18th or 19th century, went under the hammer at Martin and Pole’s auction room on Wednesday, May 24 after receiving a flurry of interest from bidders around the world.

Measuring only 8cm high, the hardstone flat panel was carved with an asymmetric scrolling design. The earliest are known to be Neolithic in period and identifiable by the circular hole in the centre, but their exact use is unknown. Later they were used in worship and ceremony, indicating a certain status or rank.

The disc had belonged to the vendor’s late father, who had worked for the Ministry of Defence in Hong Kong in the 1960s and 70s.

Another lot, a jade pendant necklace, belonging to the vendor’s father also fetched £2,100.

Auctioneer Matthew Coles said: “We soon realised from the interest generated from our online catalogue, that we had  something that would fetch over £1,000, but on the day we had telephone and online bids from numerous buyers in Canada, China and Taiwan.

“The bidding swiftly reached the high thousands, with the hammer finally falling to a telephone bidder in China at £10,500.”

Another sale from the auction included a first issue of The Incredible Hulk comic from 1962, which hadn’t met its reserve when it first came to auction in April.

Mr Coles said: “We were disappointed last month when the comic didn’t reach its reserve, so we broadcasted it a little further for this sale. We were very pleased when it sold for £2,100.”

Last week’s auction also included 30 lots which raised a total of £950 for The Link Visiting Scheme in Wokingham, a charity which promotes friendship and tackling social isolation.

All of the charity lots had been donated by supporters of the charity and included a picnic hamper, an early 20th century butler’s tailcoat, jewellery and pictures.

Mr Coles added: “The charity didn’t have much time to gather lots together to coincide with their ‘Friendship Week’ in May, but everyone is very pleased with the result for this worthy cause. “Hopefully, we can raise even more for them next year.”

Martin and Pole’s next auction will take place on June 21 and will include an 18th century Italian carved wood and gesso gilt gilt mirror estimated at between £1,500 and 2,000. Filming for BBC’s Celebrity Antiques Road Trip is also scheduled to take place at the auction.

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Gemma Davidson
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