I often receive prepositions from dealers, friends and customers to help them sell their collection of jade locally and in overseas market since I am in this line for many years. If I can secure a buyer for them in Hong Kong, China, United Kingdom or United States they will cut me a good commission. These deals sound good as I do not have to fork out any upfront cash, carry any unnecessary high cost inventory and these encounters also present opportunities to me to view more jade artifacts.
However, I am also not about to go into any trade without knowing what I am in for. In the case of being a representative for other dealer’s products I must ensure that the products are genuine as far as my knowledge goes. The price must also be a fair representation of existing markets and not one that is too over-priced, though it is extremely difficult to fix a value on any jade item. My obligations and business relationship with my own customers are equally important as I often buy and sell for them.
I was introduced to a Taiwanese Old Jade Dealer collector last year. He brought with him a number of pieces of HongShan Neolithic Jade and requested for my assistance to sell them overseas. The jade mix consisted of statues, animal figurines, bangles and jewelry pendants and rings. These artifacts looked genuine enough, but I was no expert in old jade artifacts. However, I could call on a few dealers in Hong Kong and China to ask for help.
Firstly, here is some brief information on HongShan Neolithic Jade.
The HongShan Neolithic Culture dates from 4,500 – 2,250BC and is one of the earliest most advanced civilizations discovered to date in China. The HongShan culture was mainly located in the land area between inner Mongolia and present day Liaoning and Hebei provinces.
The people of Hongshan were temple and city builders who created some of the earliest nephrite jade carvings. Their sophisticated Jade carving techniques employed technologies that exceeded simple explanations of that era. Many of the Hongshan Jade artifacts are well persevered due to the fact that HongShan culture utilized slab burial tombs and because of the dry arid climate of Inner Mongolia.
Perhaps the more famous known HongShan Jade artifact is the Coiled Dragon Fetus. It has recently been discovered that the craftsmen of HongShan possessed the knowledge of metallurgy and employed the use of copper (and possibly iron) metal tools to work on their Jade pieces. Many HongShan artifacts show indication on the use of saw blades and drill instruments reflecting the fact that they were a highly technologically advanced civilization.
Hence, a real genuine piece of HongShan Jade can be valuable.
And this dealer has more than 150 pieces or more. So he asked me to consider two options.
The price ranges from US$2,500 to $45,000 each. If a buyer wants to secure the whole lot, a base price of $3,000,000 is negotiable. Sales of individual pieces would not be allowed. Each piece is authenticated by a reputable ‘old’ jade expert from Taiwan. Viewing can be done in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. There will be no export prohibition as these are private collections.
The second alternative was to find a jade connoisseur willing to finance the exhibition and sales in New York City at a 5-star hotel for 7 days. Freight and insurance will be borne by the Taiwan Old Jade Dealer while cost of exhibition and subsequent sales to private individuals will be borne by the connoisseur.
Pricing structure and mark-ups would be further discussed with interested parties. Individual pieces were available for purchase. It was estimated that if all the jade pieces were sold, even at a further discount than intended, the financier connoisseur would stand to take home a profit of no less than $1,500,000, after all expenses were taken into consideration. An up-front fee of $100,000 must be payable upon the signing of the Joint-venture agreement on the exhibition.
Now I have to do some real serious research work on this one.
Note : Pictures above have been enhanced by photoshop to disguise its original identity.
Coming next post : The Power behind the HongSang Jade