The mystery of the Chinese antiques
We’re crowd-sourcing the origins of this breathtaking donation. Will you help?
By Michael Bongiorni
OK, I’ll admit it. When I picked up a voicemail message from a San Francisco gentleman who wanted to donate “a few odd sticks of furniture,” a dose of skepticism came over me. While Goodwill gladly accepts a wide variety of donated household furniture for resale, I’ve seen my share of tattered couches and battered bookcases come through our doors. Even when the donor explained that these pieces were part of his dear wife’s estate, I wasn’t ready to expect much.
Then I saw the pictures.
Click on the photos below to see details on each piece.
Our donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, chose Goodwill as the recipient of these treasures from his wife’s estate at her bequest. She believed in our mission and wanted to help. Now it’s our job to determine the history and origin of this incredible donation and begin to estimate its value. That’s where you come in.
Does your friend or co-worker know Chinese antiques?
We’re activating the power of our Goodwill community to see what we can learn from the wisdom of the crowd – the crowd who knows something about Chinese antiques, that is. Might you know someone in the field of Chinese history or antiquities? An interior designer or antiques dealer who knows their stuff? Please forward this link to them via email, post it to your Facebook page, or tweet about it. The more people we can reach, the more we’ll learn. (Yes, we could simply pay for a good appraisal, but what fun would that be?)
There are six pieces in all, from an incredible Wedding Chest to a Buddhist Altarpiece with carvings so beautiful it makes you want to cry. Click through the images below for a closer look and the dimensions of each piece.
Once we establish what we have and a rough idea of what each is worth, we’ll place the pieces in the window of one of our San Francisco stores and auction them off on the Web to the highest bidder. We are so honored to receive a donation of such rare quality, we’re determined to maximize their value. The money we raise at Goodwill goes directly into programs that transform lives, create jobs, and build a stronger and more sustainable Bay Area community.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Mystery of the Chinese Antiques, where we’ll reveal what we’ve learned about these treasures. Should your family own objects that you hold dear but are ready to see serve the greater good, please contact my colleague Scott M. Bruner in our downtown headquarters.