Fashions in all types of collectable items are always changing and ceramics is not exempt from this category. This includes Meissen Porcelain too. I like to remind myself how often pieces at any auction saleroom may fetch a high price for no reason. Were there more than one bidder? The bidder just wanted to own the piece for no rhyme or reason and will be prepared to pay whatever it takes without concern to rarity, condition or quality or competition from another bidder.
Of course having this type of attitude can be quite costly particularly if the peice of Messen turns out not to be Meissen but only many years later and can you immagine the disappointment to the buyer if they find out what they have bought is not genuine.
Whereas under cirtain condition a buyer has a legal right to have their purchase refunded in full, there is no guarrentee that this will be easily achieved and, ‘do you really have the time to do this, think about all the addtioal stress this will cause’!
Some bidders don’t appear to be at all concerned by inferior quality or damage. However, those persons who actually do the bidding might be bidding on behalf of a customer, may already have the piece sold to a customer who lacks the knowledge to be aware of criterias that can establish what a piece is worth.
So often I have been to provincial auctions that I have just happened to be there by chance as was the case when a quite damaged and cancelled Meissen figure of a Gardener 19″ high sold in an auction salesroom in Bournemouth recently. It required an additional £500-800 to be spent on restoration and the cost of restoration far exceeded the value. The important thing to remember all 19th century Meissen is not equal in quality and this figure was about 7 out of 10. Not the finest but not the poorest.
During the past when the major London salesroom held regular sales of specist porcelain including Meissen it was not unsurprising that a good proportion from a third to even a half of the lots of Meissen failed to reach a buyer. In particular any lot with a condition issues was failing to meet buyers. On the other hand the three Dinner Plates from the Swan service sold for between £7,000 and 10,000 pending the condition.
This Boettger Teapot managed to sell for nearly three times the estimate given that the condition was not the best in my opinion it was still a good buy.
This small but rare tureen in the Kakiemon style also failed to meet a buyer which in a way is a shame because I din’t think the estimate was too high but there was substantial damage and a replacement finial.
This rare figure of a Potter illustrates the popularity of rarer models from the Artisan series, it sold in excess of £10,000.
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