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International bidding helps Pheasants fly away for £170,000

09 November 2009Written by ATG Reporter

JUST as Asian Art in London got underway, a surprise regional highlight emerged in Devon. A pair of 18th century Chinese Export pheasants were consigned for sale at Plymouth Auction Rooms by a local vendor, whose family had owned the birds for at least three generations.

The glazed famille rose enamel birds had suffered some damage, with one beak rebuilt and one tail broken, but were a striking model, vibrantly decorated and a good size at 15in (39cm) high.

Estimated at a mere £800-1000 at the sale on November 4, they attracted interest from specialists in Belgium, Paris, Portugal and London.

They were won at £170,000 (plus 18 per cent buyer's premium) by a Continental collector, who was underbid by Cohen & Cohen. The price was a house record for the auctioneers - their previous high was £32,000 for a George III gold pattern two pence coin, sold in 2008.

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ATG Reporter

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