In 1982, two “broken chairs” found by an old man in Beijing sold for 23 million yuan at auction 29 years later
In 1982, two “broken chairs” found by Zhang Zhiyong, a retired worker in Beijing, fetched 23 million yuan at auction 29 years later.Why are these “broken chairs” so valuable?How is this baby Zhang Zhiyong tao it?On July 24, 2011, the Beijing Guardian Auction Center was packed with people. After a series of rare treasures were sold, the investors were tired and the air was full of impatience.At that moment, the auction house launched the auction activity’s final product – two “dragon pattern four heads of the official hat chair.”According to the auction host, the chairs, made of solid wood of yellow pear, were named for their appearance resembling ancient official hats.After learning about the chair, the raucous crowd of investors fell silent, and there was a long silence before intense discussion broke out.You know, the audience, who are all veterans of the antique world, were shocked, which shows the value of the two chairs.Subsequently, the host solemnly announced, “the starting price is one million yuan whole, the highest price, the auction formally began.”As soon as the words fell, there were people scrambling to raise the sign.However, just signed up for price, somebody bids directly 2 million, the process that adds price subsequently is tense and intense, 2 million 5 million, 3 million, 5 million, 8 million, the price of the chair rises with water.None of the investors seemed to want to be outbid, and every time someone came up with an inflated bid, it was always outbid by someone else in the next round.”Ten million!A middle-aged man in a suit raised his hand to bid for the two chairs, which reached a staggering 10 million yuan less than 10 minutes before the auction began.For a moment, the whole auction house suddenly silent, quiet as if empty.And these two unassuming chairs eventually sold for $23 million.Yes, he was Zhang Zhiyong, struggling to control his emotions as his baby was pushed to an unimaginably high price.After all, 10 million RMB may not seem like a big deal to those investors, but for ordinary people, it may be a fortune beyond their lifetime.As a result, Zhang held his breath and waited for the final result. To his surprise, hands went up again and again during the subsequent bidding.In the heat of the bidding, the price soared as high as 20 million yuan before a quiet investor came in with an eye-popping 23 million yuan bid.”23 million a time, 23 million two times, 23 million three times”, see no one dare to continue to quote, the host this will auction hammer heavily hit down.And these two unassuming chairs eventually sold for $23 million.After the auction, Zhang was in a daze and even pinched his arm several times to remind himself that he wasn’t dreaming.Zhang then used the money to fulfill a multi-year wish for himself.So, zhang Zhiyong such an ordinary old man, why can get such a precious official hat chair?What was his wish?To understand this, we have to start in the 1980s.In 1982, Zhang zhiyong retired from the factory and became an idle old man, spending his days playing chess and fishing.Although comfortable, but before long, he was a little tired, always thinking of giving play to spare heat, find something to do for themselves.In Liulichang, Panjiayuan and other places in Beijing, people came to trade antiques in groups, including retirees like Zhang Zhiyong.Zhang zhiyong was interested in antiques when he was young and still keeps copper plates from the Yongzheng period of the Qing Dynasty at home.As a result, he soon became an amateur antique lover, making daily trips to various folk antique markets in Beijing.Different from professionals, Zhang Zhiyong does not have too much money, so most of the time to look at the main, few start to buy.Starting from home every morning to exercise in the park, making a pot of strong tea and watching people bargain at antique stalls has become zhang’s unshakable habit.As time went by, he became more experienced, so he began to scour the antiques market for “treasures”.But basically ancient books, teapots and other gadgets, can not spend too much money, at the same time to buy a fun, this is zhang Zhiyong’s long-term adhere to the “investment philosophy”.At the same time, Zhang learned some bargaining skills.For example, if you don’t get a good bargain, you can simply shove the money into the seller’s hand.The seller was hesitant, but he was reluctant to return the money after he got it, so he was able to find a small antique at a relatively good price.However, his family does not agree with his hobby. It is a waste of time and money.They say Mr. Zhang has been “a different person” since he fell in love with antiques, cutting back on spending and avoiding many of his favorite items.One day, Zhang Zhiyong is shopping antique stall, because nothing, so a little depressed, low head slowly walk on the road.Just then, a middle-aged man on a bicycle passed by him.Because Zhang Zhiyong every day “mix” in this area, has long become a familiar face, so the middle-aged will stop him.”Lao Zhang,” he said, “I have some old chairs here. If you want them, they can be used as firewood.”Then he pointed to the back seat.Lao Zhang could not sit still, for all he had wanted was to help his son marry a good wife so that he could have grandchildren as soon as possible.Not only that, but the sides and legs of the chair were falling off, more shabby than antique.Still, it’s better to get something than go back empty-handed, and the color and texture of the chairs are good enough to work on.With this in mind, Zhang accepted the offer and finally returned a few yuan to the middle-aged man, and they left happily.However, when Zhang Zhiyong returned home, he was confronted with a “bloody storm”.”Why are you bringing back the garbage when you already have enough stuff at home?”.Zhang zhiyong’s wife is a native of Beijing, so she has a special way of insulting people. Later, zhang zhiyong said that every family now burns coal, and the wood is not even used for cooking.After listening to his wife’s criticism, Zhang zhiyong did not refute it, but dealt with a few words, and then brought two chairs to the corner of the living room.Over the next few days, all his energy was devoted to the two chairs, and with the help of carpentry, which he had learned briefly as a young man, Zhang put back the sides and legs.Unexpectedly, the quality of the chair is good, after the installation is completed, unexpectedly strong, and the whole chair is heavy, it is very heavy.After an unexpected call from the auction house, the two chairs became zhang zhiyong’s treasure. Although his family disliked them, he sat on them every day to bask in the sun.He joked that the two chairs were his “Taishi chairs”.Not only that, Zhang Zhiyong will clean carefully every day, in his maintenance, in addition to the chair face some mottled, the other are quite perfect.In this way, the two chairs have been by Zhang’s side for 29 years, until 2011, When Zhang’s son also grew up and entered the age of marriage.Lao Zhang could not sit still, for all he had wanted was to help his son marry a good wife so that he could have grandchildren as soon as possible.However, with the development of The Times, the housing price of Beijing soaring, he saved down every month that point pension, for the house at that time, is tantamount to a drop in the bucket.But he also understands that there has been a trend among young people to buy a house first and then get married.This year, Zhang zhiyong worried about the matter, every time he talked with his friends, he would bring it up.One day, when they were talking about their experience in the antique market in those days, someone asked Zhang, “Lao Zhang, don’t you like to pick up leakage at stalls?Those two chairs are probably antiques.”Zhang never thought about it at first, but now he needs a lot of money to buy a house, and he wants to try any way.With this in mind, Zhang found his son and asked him to take some photos of the chairs and send them to professional organizations for identification.”Dad, how can you think of a play is a play,” Lao Zhang’s son obviously thought he was in a fool, into the eyes of money.However, Lao Zhang was adamant, “If I tell you to shoot, you will shoot. How can you talk so much?”Finally, the son was unable to persuade his father, obediently took a group of photos, and sent to the famous Beijing Guardian International Auction Center.A week passed quickly, but there was no reply. Zhang zhiyong’s son laughed and said, “I told you, nothing happened.” Lao Zhang knew he was wrong, so he didn’t argue with his son.Surprisingly, however, a few days later, someone from Guardian called and was quite deferent to Zhang.They said the chairs were probably very valuable antiques and hoped to send someone to come for identification.Zhang’s family was overjoyed when they heard the news and immediately agreed to the auction house’s request, saying “the sooner the better”.So, Zhang Zhiyong will pick up their own “a pile of rotten wood” experience all said out.In the end, they were surprised to find that the two unimpressive chairs were actually made of solid wood from yellow pear.Huanghua pear, originated in Hainan, China, has been ranked first among the four famous trees since ancient times.In the Ming and Qing dynasties, many literati were interested in the wood, which was slow to mature, solid and had unique patterns. Furniture made of huanghua pear also became a fashion among the upper classes.Because of this, experts are even more curious about the provenance of the two chairs.After seeking Zhang’s consent, they took the chair to the lab and conducted a detailed study.Finally, after comparing numerous documents, they settled on the scientific name of the two chairs: “Chair with four heads and official hat carved with dragon pattern”.Although the name than the old zhang mouth in the “Taishi chair” a lot of mouthful, but the value can not be generalized.After the appraisal, knowledgeable experts also repeatedly sighed to Zhang Zhiyong, “This is a genuine cultural relic, how do you get such a good baby?”So, Zhang Zhiyong will pick up their own “a pile of rotten wood” experience all said out.After listening, everyone smiled, many times a careless move, may completely change the trajectory of a person’s life.Finally, the auction house asked Zhang whether he wanted to sell the chair. At this time, Zhang zhiyong was deeply torn in his heart.After all, the two chairs have been with him for nearly three decades and have become an indispensable part of his life, and Zhang is reluctant to lose them.But the child’s marriage was no less pressing, and he could not wait any longer, so at last he had the heart to sign his name solemnly on the auction contract.The story of zhang zhiyong’s discovery quickly spread around the neighborhood, and in fact, it wasn’t all that unusual at the time.Ma Weidu, a famous antique collector, is relying on the antique stall to start, let him become famous at that time, it is from the Ming and Qing dynasties old furniture.Still, it was great news for Mr. Zhang, and the auction went ahead soon after.Then appeared under the stage of investors take turns to quote, and Zhang Zhiyong in the background is nervous palms sweating, legs shaking scene.Finally two official hat chair patted an unprecedented price of 23 million yuan, Zhang Zhiyong also successfully bought a house in Beijing for his son, and this experience has become the focus of Beijing citizens after dinner.The story of an unexpected experience that led to the happiness of a family has happened occasionally in history, but every time it comes up, it is refreshing.However, after all, happiness is to rely on the hands to struggle, not always waiting for the sky pie, after all, the goddess of luck will not patronize everyone.In fact, for Zhang Zhiyong, this unexpected wealth also brought a lot of trouble, after paying taxes, paying the handling fee, after buying the wedding house, the auction money has not much left.But his peaceful life is broken forever and he will never be able to live the same life again.It can be seen that fortune and misfortune depend on each other. For us, we should keep a normal heart, wait patiently and struggle continuously to better enjoy the unexpected happiness in life.