Chinese antiques collected by British farmer sell for $64.6 million

World Today

File photo shows the painting “Peach Blossom Spring” created by the late artist Zhang Daqian, one of the best-known Chinese painters in the 20th century, is displayed during Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong, south China, April 5, 2016. (Xinhua/Li Peng)

A collection of Chinese antiques bought by a farmer for only 100 pounds per item several decades ago has sold for 45.9 million pounds ($64.6 million), British media reported Thursday.

Roger Pilkington, a British farmer, collected 100 pieces of exquisite Chinese ceramics during the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Daily Mail reported on its website.

Pilkington paid between 100 pounds (about 3,000 pounds or $4,220 in today’s currency) and 5,000 pounds (about 140,000 pounds or $197,020 today) for pieces from the Tang, Song, Ming and Qing dynasties, which spanned from 618 to 1912.

The most expensive item, a 9-inch blue and white Moon Flask from the 15th century, fetched 10.4 million pounds ($14.6 million).

The value of Asian antiques has shot up in recent years, with Chinese dealers buying back cultural pieces that were taken from the continent in the 19th century.

The pieces were expected to fetch $28 million when they went under the hammer in Hong Kong but they proved wildly popular, and Pilkington’s family — including his three children — have walked away with a fortune of $64.6 million.

“The Pilkington Collection contained extraordinarily rare items, of a kind seldom seen together on the market,” said Nicolas Chow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia.

“Roger Pilkington was a true collector of Chinese ceramics. You can tell just by looking at the pieces he had a real passion and a sensitive eye for charming and beautiful objects,” he added.

Story by Xinhua.