“It is not unusual for us to meet clients at a storage unit where they have kept surplus items, but it is unusual to see an early 17th century Japanese Momoyama trunk in one!” Commented George Holtby. “The owner attached no great value to the trunk and was pleased with our pre-sale estimate of £2,000-4,000 which we then increased to £5,000-10,000 when the catalogue went to print.”
Featured on the front cover of the Charterhouse auction catalogue, it was also advertised in an international trade newspaper. In addition, Charterhouse were proactive in their approach letting specialist dealers and museums from Japan, Portugal and America as well as in London know about the trunk in advance of the sale.
Viewing at the auction for the trunk was very busy, with one dealer driving from Northumberland just to study it, along with numerous email enquiries.
On the sale day, there were 10 telephone lines booked, including the dealer from Northumberland. After a protracted bidding war between all the telephone bidders, the hammer fell at £55,000 to a specialist London dealer.
Made in Japan for the Portuguese market, the trunk dates to circa 1600-1620 and measures 95 cm wide x 45 cm high. A rare survivor, it features black and gilt lacquer panels on an unusual shagreen ground and would have graced an important Portuguese home or monastery storing valuable personal items.
Charterhouse is now accepting entries for their Spring programme of auctions including coins, medals, stamps, clock and collectors’ items in March followed by pictures, print and books with a selection of hunting, shooting, fishing and other sporting items in April. They are also taking entries for their next specialist auction of Classic Cars in April and Classic Motorcycles in May.
For further information regarding these auctions, or to arrange a home visit, please contact George Holtby at Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne 01935 812277 or email items for valuation at email@example.com