Dallas Auction Gallery Offer Imperial Porcelain Vases

On April 17, the Dallas Auction Gallery in Texas will sell a pair of extremely rare and exquisite 19th century vases made by the Imperial Porcelain Factory for the Russian czar. The vases will sell as a pair, and their estimate is $1 million to $1.5 million.

The precious vases mysteriously disappeared after the communists seized power in 1917 and plunged Russia into civil war, but a decade later they found their way to an American collection.

Imperial Porcelain VasesIn circumstances not fully clear, the 1.3-meter high vases probably left Russia during the sell-off of Imperial treasures that was the policy of the new Soviet government. In the mid 1920s the vases appeared for sale at the famous Bernheimer Gallery in Munich, Germany, and were subsequently purchased by American oil magnate, Frank Buttram, and his wife, who were touring Europe. The couple’s travel diary clearly lists their purchase of the Russian vases.

Mr Buttram (1886-1966) was born into a family of native American famers from the Chickasaw Nation. He eventually became one of Oklahoma’s famous “oil kings,” creating Buttram Petroleum Company, one of America’s largest oil companies before World War II. His heirs, who also reside in Oklahoma, are selling the vases.

Russian Imperial vases are some of the most valuable porcelain items ever made, selling for as much as $5 million for a pair. Their great value owes to the fact that they were made for the Czar and the empire’s most powerful aristocrats. The vases are large and difficult to produce, and they were made by the leading porcelain artists and craftsmen of the period. www.dallasauctiongallery.com

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