Asian Antiques Appraisals And Valuations

Siblings’ Battle over £8 Million Ming Vase Collection Results in Legal Dispute

The Butler Family Collection, an 800-piece Ming vase collection that belonged to Sir Michael Butler, former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, has caused a rift between his children. The siblings, James, Katharine, Charles, and Caroline have been fighting over the collection for the past six years. James and Katharine wish to keep the collection together, while Caroline and James want to sell their half. The collection is held in the family museum in Dorset, and no contract was drawn up to specify what should happen to it.

The dispute has resulted in allegations and family secrets being aired publicly, including rumours of an affair their father had while married to their mother. Caroline alleged that Sir Butler preferred the collection go to his own children, while Katharine and Charles were treated more favourably financially.

The case has finally been concluded, with Caroline and James removing their share of the collection from the family museum. However, the split has caused the siblings to cease all communication, and Katharine and Charles have expressed their dismay at the decision.

Katharine and Charles plan to appeal the decision and are considering opening a petition to keep the collection together. They have also suggested the Art Fund could buy out their siblings so that it could be visited by more people. Nonetheless, the dispute has highlighted that the lawyers are likely to be the only winners in this battle.


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