Over five frantic minutes, bidders for two rare 17th century Ming chairs that sat virtually unnoticed in Victorias St. Matthias Anglican church for years sold for $630,000 at Sothebys New York auction today.
The hammer came down at $630,000 but the total price, including the buyers premium, totalled $758,500, Sothebys noted. The bid was more than twice the highest estimated auction price of $180,000-$250,000 and closed at 1:41 B.C. time.
Bidding on what the famed auctioneers called Huanghuali Yokeback armchairs started at $120,000 and rose in mostly $10,000 chunks, although several times after bidding reached $500,000, bidders jumped by $25,000 per bid.
The chairs were first noted in 2010 by a parishioner of the impoverished parish who is an aficionado of Oriental antiques and prefers to remain anonymous. At first, the chairs were presumed to be fake but the very worn feet pointed to their authenticity
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