Chinese vase causes sensation after enormous sale price

Chinese Vase

A rare Chinese vase, discovered in an attic, sold for more than 50 million pounds in a British auction. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A Chinese vase recently sold at auction in Britain has caused a sensation. The vase became the most expensive ever sold, fetching more than 53 million pounds or $85 million. The vase is likely from the late 18th century, and it was discovered in an attic.

Chinese vase found in attic

The family that sold the vase, a woman and her son, remain anonymous, but it was the woman’s brother who left her the vase, according to The Telegraph. The vase was sitting in the woman’s attic after her brother inherited it from an uncle, an “adventurer” who brought the vase back from China and left it to his nephew, who left it in turn to his sister. The vase collected dust until the woman put it on top of her bookshelf. Eventually she had it appraised, and it was valued at around 800 pounds, or about $1,300 U.S. The vase was taken to auction house Bainbridges for a second opinion, and after some research, informed the woman that it was worth far more. The vase, from the later Qing dynasty, was likely from the royal collection of the Qianlong emperor or Hongli, dating to the late 18th century. It bears the royal seal, and was likely fired in the imperial kilns.

Word of rare Chinese vase spreads

The word got out quickly, and Chinese collectors lined up to get a shot at buying the vase at auction. A 30 minute bidding war ensued. The gavel fell on the winning bid of more than 53 million pounds ($85 million U.S.) The buyer, according to the Daily Mail, is a Chinese industrialist who missed out on a rare Chinese vase earlier this year and wasn’t about to make the same mistake again. The auctioneer, Peter Bainbridge, had to bang the gavel so hard that it shattered. Rare Chinese porcelain is incredibly valuable.

The taxman cometh

After paying the the auction commission, just less than 9 million pounds, the family will also face a tax bill of about 12 million pounds. The sale was an incredible find for the auctioneer, who doesn’t normally handle lots valued more than 500 pounds.


Daily Mail


Other recent posts by bryanh