Most expensive bonsai contest :)

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
8,309
Reaction score
13,909
Location
OC, CA
USDA Zone
10A
Just for fun, I thought I'd go looking for the most expensive bonsai that I could find currently for sale over the Internet. Here's a nice little juniper listed for $188,000 (23,000,000 Yen) at Seikou-En bonsai nursery. Let's see if anyone can find a bonsai listed for more! (yes, they take Visa and MC)

 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
8,309
Reaction score
13,909
Location
OC, CA
USDA Zone
10A
When I look at a tree like this, it adds another aspect to the question "how much does it cost to own a world class bonsai". Imagine if you had a tree of this quality. Maybe some of you do. I'm not sure how you'd sleep at night wondering if you remembered to water the tree, or whether your security system was turned on, etc. What would you do if you went on vacation for a couple of weeks?
 

grouper52

Masterpiece
Messages
2,253
Reaction score
3,112
Location
Port Orchard, WA
USDA Zone
8
I believe your entry into the contest no longer qualifies, as I have now purchased it. (LOL)

Fascinating several recent posts, Nut!

grouper52
 

Rick Moquin

Omono
Messages
1,245
Reaction score
8
Location
Dartmouth, NS Canada
USDA Zone
6a
When I look at a tree like this, it adds another aspect to the question "how much does it cost to own a world class bonsai". Imagine if you had a tree of this quality. Maybe some of you do. I'm not sure how you'd sleep at night wondering if you remembered to water the tree, or whether your security system was turned on, etc. What would you do if you went on vacation for a couple of weeks?
Greg,

It is merely trump change to folks that own trees of this quality and price, . Albeit, it always hurts when loosing a tree whether it be by negligence, theft or bad luck. Without batting an eye, the individual would just go out and acquire another one.

These two pines were acquired at an auction in Japan: The first went for 180K and the second 330. Both were acquired by the same collector.

As pointed out to us it is large sums of money, to these collectors trump change. As discussed what is the price of a world class bonsai priceless to some or what one is willing to pay.

The latter category is one is mentioned in one of Walter's post. The collectors! They may not need to know how to create them but know good trees when they see them. They acquire the trees and have them cared for by establish nurseries. Therefore, one need not worry about watering or theft. The nurseries are insured and they have competent staff to look after the trees needs.

On the other hand, IMO this is not bonsai it is art collection, let me expalin. We may all salivate in envy over such trees, when we know these trees are out of ones reach, but I believe that something that one works hard towards is more meaningful than something that is acquired like a "cheeseburger to the wealthiest. We appreciate our accomplishments more, that is just my opinion.

Having said that, I wouldn't kick that Juni off my bonsai bench for dropping foliage LOL.

What I was amazed about with these two trees was the evenness of the needles. Someone who definitely knew what he was doing looked after this tree and was extremely capable in spreading its energy.
 

Attachments

grouper52

Masterpiece
Messages
2,253
Reaction score
3,112
Location
Port Orchard, WA
USDA Zone
8
Nice post, Rick. This whole arena is a little akin to another one I've known something about for many years, the collection of great violins. The Stads, the Amatis, the Guarnerius del Jesus, etc, worth millions of dollars, are mostly in the hands of collectors or collections of one sort or another. Made of rather tempermental wood, they are quasi "living", and need certain care and use to remain in top form, and the collectors must maintain them, usually through a master repairman they retain. Most collectors play violin more or less, but are seldom great artists, though some great artists do collect. Typically the great players can afford to own a great violin or two, but the up and coming aspiring artists usually cannot touch them at all financially, and so must impress and depend on one of the collectors or other patrons to acquire one that will show off their talent. It's a system that seems to work quite well, meeting everyone's needs for the most part.

The comparisons to bonsai collecting is not that close a fit, of course, since they are not used in a performing art, but they are used in displays from time to time, and a lot of the rest of it is similar. It is probably a good thing that these irreplacable specimens are cared for by someone with an appreciation for the art, and the respect, responsibility and resources necessary to maintain their investment over time.

grouper52
 
Messages
2,776
Reaction score
12
Location
Michigan, USA
USDA Zone
5
The latter category is one is mentioned in one of Walter's post. The collectors! They may not need to know how to create them but know good trees when they see them. They acquire the trees and have them cared for by establish nurseries. Therefore, one need not worry about watering or theft. The nurseries are insured and they have competent staff to look after the trees needs.
There is another breed of collectors as well, Candy Shirely is the first that comes to my mind. She has purchased some amazing trees, tress that she likes and sees as being worthy of her collection. She cares for them herself and they reside with her, not in a nursery.

Both types of collectors are a very important part of the art form, America seems to be greatly lacking these valuable patrons of the art when compared to other countries, such as Japan. In Japan, the patrons support the art, by purchasing bonsai, showing the trees and hiring professionals to maintain and service the trees, the economics make sense for artists and other professionals to practice full time.

On the other hand, IMO this is not bonsai it is art collection, let me explain. We may all salivate in envy over such trees, when we know these trees are out of ones reach, but I believe that something that one works hard towards is more meaningful than something that is acquired like a "cheeseburger to the wealthiest. We appreciate our accomplishments more, that is just my opinion.
The two things can not be compared any more than one can compare the artist to the art collector in any other art form. Can one survive without the other? Sure an artist could continue to create to their hearts content without patrons, this is where the term "Starving Artist" comes from. Patrons purchase, show, and sell art and in so doing fund the artist, the service industry, and promotes the art further , creating a demand for more art.

What America is lacking is the service industry, those individuals that maintain and service bonsai for the people who collect them, for the patrons. This industry is missing because of the extreme lack of patrons. Why are the patrons missing?




Will
 

Dwight

Chumono
Messages
599
Reaction score
7
Location
El Paso , TX
Just for fun, I thought I'd go looking for the most expensive bonsai that I could find currently for sale over the Internet. Here's a nice little juniper listed for $188,000 (23,000,000 Yen) at Seikou-En bonsai nursery. Let's see if anyone can find a bonsai listed for more! (yes, they take Visa and MC)
Chump change. That tree might , no , probably will out live the owner/collector with proper care. I recently say documented a koi sale for $300,000 and the dern fish was already eight years opld. Unless the buyer is in his/her 60's the fish definately won't out live the owner. In the koi " hobby " in Japan , like in bonsai , many of the top koi are cared for by professionals and some never live with the owner.
 

Dwight

Chumono
Messages
599
Reaction score
7
Location
El Paso , TX
Mine either. Why have something you can't enjoow whenever you want. Kinda like a vacation home. I just don't see the point. As an ameture the idea of bonsai is something for my own personal pleasure so mortaging the house just don't make sense.

BTW , I've never spent more on koi than my wife spends on clothes.
 

candyjshirey

Seedling
Messages
24
Reaction score
0
Location
New Hampshire, NH, USA
USDA Zone
5b
There is another breed of collectors as well, Candy Shirely is the first that comes to my mind. She has purchased some amazing trees, tress that she likes and sees as being worthy of her collection. She cares for them herself and they reside with her, not in a nursery.

Will
Will -

I have been labeled a collecter and "Patron of the Arts" many times and it is not a title that I embrace.

I have several quality trees that I have been fortunate to buy and they do give me pleasure and provide inspiration and study material. I like to share the beauty of these trees. However, I also have several trees is various states of development that I have created. Most of the subscribers to this forum are artists (or artists in development) and I count myself among them.

I live the bonsai lifestyle: I water, pot, trim, pinch, prune, style, wire, dewire, fertilize, maintain etc.

If one buys a "finished tree" does that make one a collector or "patron of the arts"?

-Candy
 
Messages
2,776
Reaction score
12
Location
Michigan, USA
USDA Zone
5
Hi Candy,

One can be a collector and patron of the arts as well as an artist. I have seen your own work and I have also observed the care and dedication you give to those great pieces you have purchased. It is very obvious that you have both the talent and the skills necessary to not only maintain a collection, but also to create art on your own.

That being said and made perfectly clear, it is so rare in this country to see people actually embrace the art of bonsai at the level that you do, that there are few examples to use when discussing the subject, hence your name often is used as a reference, an example, a benchmark, if you will, to measure by.

Granted, the titles may be taken by some as "lessor" than the title of artist, but to those in the know, the collectors, the patrons, the people who gather art for display and show to the public are the foundation of the art world. What good would art be without those willing to collect it and show it, without those willing to promote it, purchase it, or for that matter, discuss it? The starving artist is the artist without patrons. Without such people, our bonsai community would be no bigger than the neighbors who could see into our yards.

If one buys a "finished tree" does that make one a collector or "patron of the arts"?
Yes.

Why is that a bad thing to so many?



Will
 

candyjshirey

Seedling
Messages
24
Reaction score
0
Location
New Hampshire, NH, USA
USDA Zone
5b
Will -

Many here strive, in their own path, to be better artists. Some have learned to fine-tune some bonsai lessons more than others. If one were to be known as a wonderful waterer of bonsai plants, could we put that title upon him? Would you like to be known as the bonsai waterer? Dosen't that title minimize all that you are striving for?

(Sorry to hijack this thread.)

-Candy
 
Messages
2,776
Reaction score
12
Location
Michigan, USA
USDA Zone
5
Candy,

You obviously take some offense to the title of collector or of patron, because you take offense to such titles, I will refrain from using them in conjunction with you in the future.

Today, collectors and patrons in American just became rarer.


Will Heath - Bonsaist
 

candyjshirey

Seedling
Messages
24
Reaction score
0
Location
New Hampshire, NH, USA
USDA Zone
5b
Candy,

You obviously take some offense to the title of collector or of patron, ...
Will -

No offense taken - but it does make me wince a bit.

I have been called a lot worse ...:eek:

I'll just have to work harder on my own projects to make them worth remembering.

I will refrain from using them in conjunction with you in the future.
Thanks.

Your long time friend in bonsai.

-Candy
 

Poink88

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
8,968
Reaction score
58
Location
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
USDA Zone
8b
I am bored so did some digging and stumbled to this. Interesting conversation and topic so I googled a few entries. :D

($1.3 million)
http://ogijima.com/most-expensive-bonsai/
http://www.bonsaiempire.com/blog/expensive-bonsai

And who says all ginseng ficus should be burned??? ;) Burn this...
http://www.bonsaiginseng.net/most-expensive-bonsai/worlds-mostexpensive-ficus-ginseng-and-other-bonsai

"One ficus ginseng in Vietnam is rumoured to be worth as much as 2-6million USD however this particular collector refuses to advise the original price paid or how old the bonsai actually is.

Again an auction may be the only way to put a reasonable market price on this specimen. But while on the topic of ficus ginseng, one sold recently for around 60,000USD and according to reports weighed as much as 500lbs making it the most expensive bonsai of its variety. ..."
 

Poink88

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
8,968
Reaction score
58
Location
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
USDA Zone
8b
Okay, I made a mistake...my entries are forfeit since they are not for sale and are sold for such amount. :D

Still good conversation links though. ;)
 

berobinson82

Omono
Messages
1,515
Reaction score
427
Location
Central Virginia, US
USDA Zone
7a
Good conversation indeed. I'm curious now, are some of these pots as valuable as the tree that it's in?

Then I started googling oldest bonsai pots / most expensive bonsai pots.

Then went to ebay.

Then remembered I had a job to do today!

Cool thread though.
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
Messages
10,564
Reaction score
24,441
Location
B’ham, AL
USDA Zone
8A
Good conversation indeed. I'm curious now, are some of these pots as valuable as the tree that it's in?

Then I started googling oldest bonsai pots / most expensive bonsai pots.

Then went to ebay.

Then remembered I had a job to do today!

Cool thread though.
Yes, some pots can be very expensive; particularly antique Chinese pots, and imperial collection pots. However, that white pine was not really for sale at $1.3m. That was a publicity "stunt", much like Brussels' $67k white pine on eBay. S-Cube is a great promoter.
 

Dan W.

Omono
Messages
1,489
Reaction score
637
Location
Wyoming
USDA Zone
4
How about this... I didn't do the digging to figure out if this was true or not. But in this interview Walter Pall mentions a painting (what I found on Google was a sculpture?) of a bonsai tree, by Roy Lichtenstein that sold for 14 million. The funny thing is... It's not a very good bonsai tree.

I find it interesting that a sculpture/painting..?.. of a crummy bonsai tree can be sold for $14,000,000 'while truly incredible LIVING bonsai are not worth nearly as much. The most expensive one we can find is 1.3 million.

http://walter-pall-bonsai.blogspot.com/2013/11/interview.html

So, in this case, what makes this art? Is it because a sculpture of an odd bonsai is so amazing, or because Roy L. made it? I would personally rather have a nice bonsai for a few $100 than the sculpture.
 

Similar threads


Top Bottom