Thursday, September 14, 2006

Marketplace Today: Rare Classics For Sale

Some very rare items that may make the most jaded tea and wine enthusiasts giddy have just become available on the market today.

Garagiste Wine in Seattle sent out an e-mail offer to their registered mailing list customers for two rare Burgundy wines:

1971 Domaine de la Romanee Conti “Romanee Conti”, 750ml, $5,986.63

1966 Domaine de la Romanee Conti “Grand Echezeaux”, 750ml, $2,867.80

Garagiste is a specialty wine shop located in Seattle. They offer limited production wines as well as very-hard-to-find wines via daily e-mails. Past offerings have included rare vintages of top estate wines from all over the world that most enthusiastic wine collectors would aspire to have in their cellars. At the moment, however, I can only continue to dream owning some of their offerings.

Hou De Fine Asian Art has just made a late 18th century Yixing pot available on the market for a handsome price of $3,250. I highly commend the transparency of information provided by Guang (the proprietor) about this rare antique. In the description, he noted that through his observation of the clay, the craftsmanship, and the seal, this piece is an authentic mid-Qing dynasty pot made from the precious zhu ni clay. To be safe, he also noted that when the clay, the craftsmanship and the seal are observed independently, “Nothing alone leads me to have a 100% confidence,” though as a whole he is confident of its authenticity.

Per Guang’s observation, factor-by-factor:
Clay: 75% sure [that it is a mid-Qing dynasty antique]
Craftsmanship: 80% sure [that it is a mid-Qing dynasty antique]
Seal / Sign: 60% [sure that it is a mid-Qing dynasty antique]

Bravo! Although I can not afford it, I appreciate this kind of open and personal opinion from a reliable vendor. I have been – and I suspect I will continue to be – a satisfied customer of Hou De for their more affordable teas and teawares.


MarshalN said...

I don't think I'll ever blow that much money on a pot that I have not seen in person. Hell, I won't even pay $300 for a pot I haven't seen in person.

~ Phyll said...

I wouldn't either if I haven't seen it in person. The only way to see it in person is to order and receive it. Hou De has a very pro-consumer return policy: 100% refund, no question asked if not satisfied. I have taken advantage of this policy once for a drippy Yixing pot, and I must say I was never once put on the defensive when I wanted to return it. I received my refund promptly. I appreciated this kind of service, because I think pictures on the internet can never do justice to the actual quality of a Yixing pot.

MarshalN said...

Yeah, at least for purchases like pots, which can be expensive, that's the only way to go. I remember you had that drippy problem.