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(2) in judging the fine works of antiquity, we have packed some of these recently purchased specimens in four cases and sent to you, and we beg you, when you have leisure, to examine and criticise them one by one. When valuable articles are criticised and judged by a great connoisseur the result must be highly satisfactory to all. The price-list, which has been carefully compiled, is enclosed herewith; and knowing your great experience in such matters, and your desire to protect our trade, we have quoted only true prices. Owing to the growing scarcity of Chinese antiquities and the daily increasing prices asked for them, more capital must now be used in our business and higher prices paid for the articles we buy. We beg you, therefore, to consider these matters and regulate the prices accordingly. On reviewing last year's business we find that the average price returned was about fifty per cent, but the price of gold is still lower this year and we venture, therefore, to ask you, if possible, to pay us sixty per cent (of the price) in order to save us from greater loss. We dislike to ask you to do this, and we fear the request may displease you; but the state of the market has changed so greatly that we feel compelled to make this request, and we shall be grateful if you can grant us this great favour. If you will buy all the goods which we now send we shall be much pleased; but
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