FOUND > Happenstance 'Plant Pot' Fetches $30,000

Estate Sale Buy Yields Windfall

FOUND > Estate Sale 'Plant Pot' Fetches $30,000

July 25, 2018
By James Massey, What Sells Best News

DEVON, UK - Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood (BHL) report, a 'plant pot' bought by happenstance for a modest sum at an estate sale, has fetched $30,000 (£23,000) at auction.


The 'plant pot' was actually a rare antique Chinese censer. Bought unknowingly in the 1960s by the late husband of the owner at an estate sale in Devon.

He originally went to the sale to buy a Georgian tallboy, which he did. While there, the censer's richly colored enamels caught his eye, so he bought that too, for a modest sum.

For years, the censer was used as a plant pot. Until the 1970s when it worked its way onto an itemized insurance list. After that it was ‘upgraded’ to a pen and paper clip holder.

When BHL took over the research. They identified the incense burner as a rare decorative Chinese censer from the Ming Dynasty. That caught the attention of collectors, worldwide.


A high level of interest for this type of item is not surprising. In recent years competition for Chinese antiques and rare collectibles has been very strong among dealers and collectors.

FOUND > Estate Sale 'Plant Pot' Fetches $30,000Because China’s 30-year economic boom has fueled many wealthy Chinese collectors, who are currently competing, for the chance to retake symbols of their heritage.


As things got underway at the BHL - Quarterly Fine Art Sale. The bidding soared, driven by internet and phone bidders from around the globe. The final hammer price was $30,000 (£23,000).

Not bad at all, for a happenstance buy at an estate sale.


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