Charity shop buy to small fortune

A charity shop trinket bought for a few pounds could prove to be a wise buy when it comes up for sale in Surrey auctioneers John Nicholson’s Oriental auction later this month.

8th century cloisonné period tripod censer

A late entry to the sale, the auctioneer was just due to get the auction catalogue printed when it was consigned and could now be one of the star lots.

Specialist Mark Grant describes the item as “an 18th century cloisonné period tripod censer. It mark and period dates it to the reign of the Qianlong emperor, seen as the zenith of Chinese cultural development.”

Weighing 445gm, its sides are decorated with formal scrolling lotus reserved on a turquoise ground. The base has scroll stemmed flowerheads encircling a gilded square plaque incised with a four-character Qianlong mark above a single character.

At 4½in, it has been estimated at £5000-8000 but could well go for a great deal more, say the auctioneers, when it comes up for sale on December 16th.

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