Rare 16th century Buddha statue was used as doorstop
The statue is part of a collection which could make tens of thousands of pounds at auction
A rare Buddha statue used as a doorstop by an elderly couple is expected to sell for ‘a spectacular sum’ when it goes under the hammer with eight others.
Made from gold and bronze, the nine ornaments were found among 300 other collectables in the home of an elderly London couple.
They were dotted around the building, hidden in cupboards and sitting on coffee tables – with one used to prop open a door.
The Buddhas come from China and Thailand and are believed to be from the 16th century Ming dynasty.
They will be up for grabs at Stourbridge-based firm Fieldings Auctioneers on Saturday, September 1.
Fieldings’ Asian Art expert, Will Farmer, who is also an expert on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, said: “The couple were collectors and had an amazing life travelling the world picking up hundreds of items.
“Out of these we found these fantastic Asian Buddhas that were spectacularly dotted all over the house.
“The market for Asian art has sky-rocketed in the last 10 years.
China’s economy has exploded and has become a major world player and now all these wealthy CEO’s and business owners want their artefacts and antiques back.
“We expect the highest valued Buddha to fetch between £8,000 to £12,000, but you really can’t tell with these items.
“Two people could go toe-to-toe online and keep bidding for them and the price can keep climbing.
“Jobs like these excite me to come into work. I’ve been in this job for 20 years and it’s probably the best collection I’ve dealt with in the last 10 years, it’s certainly in my top three jobs in my career – anything from the Ming dynasty is exciting and we’re really chuffed to be helping sell them.
“We were in competition with other firms and pitted against a London firm and we won.
“I want to thank the family for having faith in us and recognising the global reach we have from our firm in the West Midlands.
“We’re proud to a Black Country firm with an international reach.
“I can’t wait for the sale to happen, it’s months of hard work coming to a head. We’ve promoted the Buddhas to the Far East and I expect that they won’t stay in the UK and will instead go home to China, we’ll have to see.”
Fellow Fieldings specialist, Mark Hannam, added: “You’d be lucky to find one piece like this, let alone this collection.
“They’re fresh to the market and not been seen in years.
“To be honest, because of the rarity of the pieces they’re an unknown quantity and could reach spectacular sums. It’s great to bring collections of excitement and value to the Midlands.”
The money from the auction will go back to the family and the estate, with the auction house dividing the 300 items between the auction in September that will feature the Buddhas and another auction in October.