$284,000 Qing dynasty tea service proves to be bidders' cup of tea at Sotheby's

Recently, Sotheby's Amsterdam proudly announced that they have been given the opportunity to offer some 1,600 lots from the Estate of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, and the auction has now concluded - and has proved a resounding success, achieving €5m against a top estimate of €1.5m.

Some of the highlights included:

Bomschuiten in the Breakers by Hendrik Willem Mesdag, a watercolour heightened with white on paper, sold for €82,350 ($114,409), over eight times the low estimate (€10,000-15,000).

A rare and extensive Doccia Ginorei Porcelain Dinner Service, circa 1780-1810, with puce decoration of Italianate landscapes, sold for €168,750 ($233,172) against an estimate of €40,000-60,000. Four bidders competed for five minutes, pushing the price up to four times over the low estimate.

The top lot was the one on which we focused ahead of the sale: an extensive Chinese silver-gilt tea service (18th-19th Century) from the Qing Dynasty.

Chinese silver gilt Qing tea set
Chinese silver gilt Qing tea set


This sold to a buyer in the saleroom for €204,750 ($284,459) against an estimate of €30,000-50,000. (Rather more than a 'Harry and Kate' mug - see below)

Patrick van Maris, Managing Director of Sotheby's Europe and the Middle East, said: "After four days and over thirty-four hours of auctioneering, all 10,000 items offered in 1,535 lots have found a new home, resulting in a 'white-glove' sale.

"The illustrious provenance of each and every object attracted competitive bidding from fervent admirers of Queen Juliana, not only in the Netherlands, but also from around the world." This is not surprising, as many of the items will make strong investments.

The proceeds will be divided between charities selected by the Royal family, with over half of the money earmarked for the Red Cross.


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