Rare artefact raises �360,000 for hospice

A SEEMINGLY inconspicuous donation to a Clevedon charity shop, which turned out to be a rare Chinese artefact, has resulted in a whopping �360,000 being raised for St Peter’s Hospice.

Among a number of items handed into the charity’s store in Hill Road by an anonymous donor was one piece which caught the eye of staff members – a very old, carved wooden pot.

Unsure of what the item could be worth, they contacted Clevedon Salerooms and subsequent research by senior valuer, Mark Fraser, revealed the potential importance of the Chinese bamboo brushpot.

Marc Burridge from the Clevedon auction-house showed the piece to Asian art expert John Axford, of Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury, who confirmed the pot was in fact a rare, carved landscape bitong, or brushpot, made in China between 1622 and 1722 by one of the most famous artists of that period.

As a result, the charity put it up for sale at a specialist auction on May 23.

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When the hammer finally fell, bidding on the pot had reached an astonishing �360,000 and it was bought by a collector from Hong Kong.

The sale means the Bristol-based St Peter’s Hospice can now launch fatigue and breathlessness management courses for patients at outreach centres.

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Janet Loud, St Peter’s Hospice head of shops said: “We are shocked but delighted this brushpot far exceeded the amount even experts believed it would raise at auction.

“It is a fantastic boost for St Peter’s Hospice in these difficult economic times when fund-raising is tough.”

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