When people clean out their garages, they typically expect to make a few pounds from the contents. One family who offered up some items from their garage for auction found themselves with a huge surprise on their hands when a bronze censer netted them a grand total of £16,000. The item was found while the selling family was clearing the home of a Hawick man after his death. Needless to say, this came as a huge but favourable surprise.
Finding antique-looking objects in garages is fairly common, but there was something unique about this particular bronze censer. This particular antique was a 450-year-old Chinese artifact. To make matters even more surprising, the garage included not one but two such objects. The censers were, at one point in time, used for the burning and holding of incense, which was an important aspect in meditation, diplomatic functions, and general etiquette in 16th Century China. What these items were doing in a prefabricated garage is anybody’s guess. It seems that the late Hawick gentleman who had them didn’t realise their value, but there’s no telling where he got them, either.
Auction Day Surprise
Auctioneer Maurice Manning was the person responsible for selling the censers at auction. Having seen many surprises from many people’s garages, Manning stated that he recognised the antiques the moment he laid eyes on them. However, not even he had any inkling as to how high the bidding would get. The censers were placed on Manning’s website, and interest soared almost immediately. At one point, says Manning, there were a total of three people bidding live, three more on the telephone, and four commission bids for auction-goers throughout the world. That level of interest from something that was found in a prefabricated garage is practically unheard of.
Good Tidings for a Surprised Family
When speaking with the press, Manning related his amazement as he watched the price climb higher and higher. He described himself as “…thrilled and absolutely gobsmacked.” Ultimately, the antique from the prefabricated garage went to a Chinese man who lives in the United States. His exact interest in the item is unknown. He likely has a fondness for Chinese antiques, although he probably never expected to find such a treasure sitting in storage in one of England’s garages. The family itself has chosen to remain anonymous, enjoying their good fortune and hopefully earning some degree of happiness despite the unfortunate death of their relative. £16,000 certainly must help somewhat.
The entirety of this strange tale emphasises the fact that you never know what exactly might be lying in the back of some people’s garages. It’s always worth keeping your eyes open to see what you can see. Treasures like these are not found often, but they are found on occasion. You never know when your next great purchase may come from an auction or sale that comes about due to somebody emptying a garage.
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