Imperial Russian vases discovered in Oklahoma are worth $1.5m



2015-06-26 13:11:01

Imperial Russian vases discovered in Oklahoma are worth $1.5m

A pair of 19th century imperial Russian porcelain vases were overlooked for years

A pair of imperial Russian vases that were overlooked for years in an Oklahoma City mansion will be sold at auction on April 17 in Dallas.

Russian Imperial Vases auction Many Russian imperial items were sold to the western market by the Soviet government following the revolution

The vases were discovered by Randy Buttram, who had often seen them at his grandparents' home, yet thought nothing of them. After being traced to the Imperial Porcelain Factory in 19th century St Petersburg, they are now being sold with a $1m-1.5m estimate.

Buttram commented: "They were there all the time, I had no clue about their historical value."

The consignor's grandfather, Frank Buttram, was a "rags to riches" oil magnate, founder of Buttram Energies Inc. One of the five founding members of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, he was called upon by President Roosevelt during the second world war to serve on the Petroleum Industry War Council.

The vases were purchased in the mid 1920s, after Frank and his wife visited the Bernheimer Gallery in Munich duringa tour of Europe. The 4.5-foot-tall vases were likely sold to the western market by the Soviet government following the Russian revolution, like many important tsarist relics.

In January, a 19th century urn from the Russian Imperial Porcelain Factory, similar to the present offering, sold for an impressive $152,500 at Bonhams. Collectibles from imperial Russia often see strong results at auction as the country's wealthy middle-class continues to expand, such as the 757% increase seen by Tsar Nicholas II's lettersin December 2012.

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