A rare vase, gifted to a Lincolnshire woman by the Empress of Japan more than 50 years ago will soon be auctioned in Scunthorpe.
The local pensioner, 77, worked as a Met Police officer when she was 25 and was given the opportunity to be a bodyguard to the Emperor and Empress of Japan on their first state visit to Britain. The Royal couple were in the country for three days in October 1971, and the 25-year-old Special Branch sergeant was tasked to look after Empress Nagako – Emperor Hirohito’s wife – during her solo engagements.
As a thank you gift, she was given the eight-inch Fukagawa porcelain vase, which bears the Imperial Chrysanthemum Seal. All of these years later, the ex-police officer has decided to take the vase to auction.
Emperor Hirohito’s visit in 1971 was a historic event and the first time in over 2,000 years that a reigning emperor had ever left the shores of Japan. The North Lincolnshire woman was one of only a handful of weapons-trained women officers in the Metropolitan Police at the time.
Paul Potter, of Scunthorpe-based Potters Auction Saleroom, said: “Now a pensioner living in North Lincolnshire, the vendor is downsizing and says she is doing a ‘Marie Condo’ – following the advice of the famous decluttering expert.
“The vase is a rare piece of memorabilia with rock solid provenance, perhaps one of the few surviving pieces of memorabilia from that visit. The male close protection officers got bottles of whisky – so they probably didn’t last too long!”
Paul added: “The eight-inch tall vase is Fukagawa, a renowned Japanese porcelain factory that has been an official supplier to the Imperial Household for over hundred years. It bears the sixteen petal chrysanthemum seal that is used by the Emperor and members of the Imperial Family.”
More than 2,000 lots are to go under the hammer in the three-day auction that gets underway at 10.30am on Thursday. Other noteworthy lots include one of the Royal Academician Fred Cuming’s studio interior paintings, a Bueche-Girod, ladies dress watch that was about to be thrown out because the vendor was unaware that it was gold and that the sapphires and diamonds were real and a mind-boggling collection of secret agent gadgetry.
Original artice: https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/all-about/scunthorpe