But I am not complaining, the only problem is the inflated cost of living in Switzerland, that means we are not able to have much help for cleaning, or in the garden. As we are older, we do find it harder to do everything ourselves.

Whenever we feel that our funds available are becoming low, we will sell an antique from our collection. So, we have kept in touch with certain dealers and auctioneers, especially those that we have had a special relationship with. Some are friends that we have known for many years and each of them are so interesting and helpful (in no particular order); Neil Davey, Richard Marchant, Robert Hall, Clare Chu, Hugh Moss, Roger Kerverne, Douglas Wright, Paul Moss, Suzannah Yip, and Asaph Hyman.

I thought I had completed this story (January 2020), and I would have a rest from writing at the computer and concentrate on the future. Who knows although I am eighty this year, one day there might still be some more to add, I do hope so!

But I have started again! Sooner than expected, as more extraordinary unforeseen things have happened. I started in March 2020 to gradually write this second part, about our ‘Retirement Life.’

Selling a Few Antiques

Some interesting and rather strange things have happened with selling some Asian antiques. We have sold the odd jade item, as we have been amazed at how much the value of certain antique Chinese jade have increased in value. Looking back, the sale of the first piece we sold, had made us a sufficient profit to cover the cost of our entire collections, including the cost of keeping them safe all these years. This piece was a green large table screen that we had bought for about 3,000 pounds and our friend Richard Marchant, a well-respected dealer, sold it for us, and we received 120,000 pounds, after his commission. So, we could now regard all the rest of our collections as a gift!

What we had decided to do in our retirement was to sell an antique, as and when we needed extra funds, so far, we have sold only a very few jade pieces, chosen because of the current exceedingly high values. Our selection has been based on the fact that most of our treasured collection are pieces that were used and handled, rather than what we refer to as cabinet display pieces. The ones we have now sold, were all originally jade pieces that my father had given to be sold in 1987 at Sotheby's auction in London 'Chinese Decorative Arts, Export Porcelain and Snuff Bottles' but all of them failed to reach the agreed low reserves. One item, failed to reach the reserve of 350 pounds, yet we received 80,000 euros for it, so we were awfully glad that it had not sold so many years earlier!

On the other hand, another piece that we included in the same year, failed to reach the agreed reserve of 20,000 euros, so it was unsold. This piece had also been in the same Sotheby's auction in 1987. But what is strange, is that we were advised to put it in another auction about a year later, but this time with an exceptionally low reserve of only 3,000 euros. The thinking was, that having such a low reserve would attract far more interest, and the expectation was, that it would easily sell for over 20,000 euros. Yet again it failed to reach the reserve! So, it is exceedingly difficult to anticipate what will happen in the auction rooms, when even the top auctioneers can be proved so wrong. We are happy to have kept this piece, as it would have upset us to let it go for just a little over such a low reserve, which might have happened.

Ivory Restrictions

Netsuke have been collected for many years, by so many collectors, there have been lots of publications about them, and the craftsmen who carved them. The most desirable ones have reached extremely high prices in the past. But now suddenly to save the elephants, all ivory objects have become difficult to sell.

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