Chapter 75 – This Incense Burner is an Antique
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The sales for the luxury used cars were settled, and Feng Yu was relived. Wu Zhigang had been doing market research and noticed that the agricultural machinery and parts produced by the Soviet Union were very popular in China. They were more durable than the Japanese but more expensive. This was especially so for the harvesters and tractors. They were outstanding but not sold anywhere.
Feng Yu intend to do this business for the next six months. Longjiang province is a vast agricultural province. Cultivating all the land by animals was impossible. He was not sure how much it will cost for him to bring in these machines.
Fu Guangzheng and two mechanics arrived at Tai Hua Trading on Sunday.
Li Shiqiang and one of the mechanics met and was shocked. This mechanic was the one who does the testing of the vehicles for them.
Feng Yu did not hide this from Fu Guangzheng and told him straight. He still wants to sell the next batch of cars to Fu Guangzheng, and he cannot let the latter to feel that he was deceiving him.
Fu Guangzheng smiled and said that it was okay. He knew that this mechanic was doing the testing for Tai Hua Trading and he deliberately brought him along to see if Tai Hua Trading will be in cahoots with the mechanic to cheat him. But since Feng Yu had made it clear to him, that means that Feng Yu had no plans to deceive him. This increases the position of Tai Hua Trading in his heart.
The testing went smoothly. All vehicles were tested in the afternoon. The testing mainly focuses on the engine, chassis, brakes, and accelerator. The rest doesn’t matter much.
Fu Guangzheng was satisfied with the test results. He wanted all 18 vehicles. After deducting the transportation cost, he can still get a profit of more than 50,000 RMB per vehicle. If he manages well, he might get even more.
All of them returned to Tai Hua Trading’s warehouse to sign a contract prepared by Feng Yu. Fu Guangzheng read the contract carefully and signed it.
Tomorrow, after the money was credited to Tai Hua Trading, Fu Guangzheng will collect the cars. He had already made the arrangements for the transportation, and all the paperwork were completed in one hour.
Keeping his copy of the contract, Feng Yu said politely: “Mr. Fu, let’s have some tea before leaving.”
Feng Yu never expect Fu Guangzheng to accept his invitation readily and even said that he was thirsty from earlier on. Feng Yu instructed his staff to prepare the tea and at the same time apologize for the poor hospitality.
Having a company with all men was not good. No one was meticulous enough to prepare tea for customers and guests.
But this was all Feng Yu’s fault. He had taught his staff to behave this way. A successful company must be arrogant. But Feng Yu will never admit that this was taught by him.
Fu Guangzheng lifts the teacup, took a sip of the green tea and frowned. This tea was ordinary and not some good tea. He does not want to drink, but he was embarrassed to put down the teacup after taking a slip. So, he just held on to the cup in his hands.
He looked around and noticed the three-legged incense burner in the corner. He casually said to Feng Yu: “Why did you place that thing in your office? It doesn’t match your simple office décor.”
Feng Yu looked over at the incense burner which he bought for 300,000 RMB from Cripple Wang. He had wanted to use it as a flower pot but his office was in a warehouse, and there was no sunlight. In the end, he forgot about it.
“Oh, that incense burner? After buying it from a friend, I got nowhere to place it, so I just leave it in that corner.”
Bought from a friend? Maybe he knows that it is an antique? Then it won’t be nice if I ask him for it. But why was it placed at that corner? Could it be a fake?
Fu Guangzheng had this problem or should it be those who traded in antiques all had this problem. If an antique was placed in front of them, they can’t sleep if they can’t hold the antique in their hands and scrutinize it!
“Incense Burner? I like incense burner and even have a collection. Can I take a closer look at that incense burner?”
Some people collect incense burner as a hobby? Feng Yu looked at Fu Guangzheng strangely. This hobby was quite weird and doesn’t sound like some sort of religion.
“Sure. Since you like it, just take a closer look.”
Feng Yu nonchalantly picked up the incense burner and roughly placed it on the table.
Although the ashes were cleared, the incense burner was not cleaned. An ash cloud floated up from the impact.
Feng Yu stepped two steps back and waved his hands in front of him. Fu Guangzheng and moved his chair back and place the teacup on the table. A layer of ash dropped onto the tea, and it can’t drink anymore. But Fu Guangzheng’s eyes did not leave the incense burner.
Huh? Feng Yu looked at Fu Guangzheng curiously. Why did he take out a pair of white gloves and put it on? Why was it so familiar?
Feng Yu suddenly remembered a television program he watched in his previous life. The program was “Appraising Treasures,” and the experts in the program wore white gloves when appraising antiques.
Looking at Fu Guangzheng carefully wiping the dust off the surface of the incense burner, the things he said earlier and his expression, Feng Yu had a bold guess.
This Fu Guangzheng had a bit of OCD. If it were a clean incense burner, he would not wear his gloves. But this incense burner was too dirty. He did not want to dirty his hands, so he put on his gloves.
He thought his acting was not bad. Collecting incense burners, this reason was impressive. People were collecting all sorts of weird stuff in the world, and this Feng Yu should not suspect anything.
Feng Yu apparently does not think much of this incense burner as he had left it in a corner. It could be he treated it as a regular incense burner, or he thought it was a fake.
Fu Guangzheng saw the shape of the incense burner, and it looked like an Xuande burner. There was only about 3,000 Xuande burner produced during the Ming Dynasty. Later, many were damaged or went missing. The prices for these burners became more and more expensive. If this burner were real, it would worth a lot of money.
Fu Guangzheng only wanted to wipe the burner clean to look at the material and color so he can have a rough estimation. Then he would offer a low price to buy it. If the negotiation went smoothly, Feng Yu should be willing to sell it to him.
But he did not expect that by putting on a pair of white gloves, Feng Yu suspect that burner is an antique.
Fu Guangzheng shook his head and casually place the burner back on the table. But there was only a faint sound because he was cautious with it. He had examined the burner. Although it was not a thorough examination, there was a 50% chance of it being a real Xuande burner and 50% to be an imitation.
But it doesn’t matter if it was real or fake. Even if it was an imitation, it was worth a lot of money too. If he met someone who doesn’t know much about antiques, he could still sell it to him at the price of an authentic burner.
“I had never seen this type of incense burner. Is Mr. Feng willing to sell it to me?” Fu Guangzheng said and placed a 100 HK dollar note on the table.
Feng Yu can now be sure that this burner was indeed an antique. If not, why would Fu Guangzheng want such a dirty incense burner?
Feng Yu smiled and said: “Mr. Fu is joking with me? I had spent a few hundred thousand RMB to buy this burner from a friend, and you are offering me 100 HK dollars?”
The smile on Fu Guangzheng’s face froze. A few hundred thousand RMB? This Feng Yu knows that this burner is an Xuande burner?
Impossible. Who would place something that is worth a few hundred thousand RMB in a corner? He must be bluffing!
“Did I hear wrongly? A few hundred thousand? This should only worth a few dozen RMB the most.”
“Really? A few dozen RMB a piece? Why not Mr. Fu sells it to me. I will buy whatever you have. Let’s be truthful. This burner is an antique, and you should have already known about it.”
The author notes: There were some who said that there was 3,000 Xuande incense burner produced and some said 5,000. Also, some of those were imitation from the Qing dynasty. Even the experts were not sure. There were also some who said there were less than 100 real, authentic Xuande burners left. However, let’s not dwell on it.