After years of gathering dust... Elderly pair's Chinese vase brings $309,100

It's beginning to seem like everybody has one stashed in their home...

Once again a story has emerged of a rare 19th century Chinese vase selling for an astronomical amount, after years of gathering dust in someone's house.

Auctioned by Hanson's in Derby, UK, the vase had for years sat on the shelf of an elderly couple in their 70s. The couple inherited the vase about 45 years ago from a great uncle.

Notable features on the vase include foliage, rock work and a mark of the daoguang period (1821-1850).

According to reports, the couple commented prior to the sale that they would be happy with a £25 final amount. Yet the 30cm tall Qing Dynasty vase had a surprise in store...

In the end, it sold for £192,000 ($309,149) - a record sale for small firm Hanson's.


Close, but no £53.1m... The 1740s Qing Dynasty vase sold at Bainbridge, last year


This story mirrors the sale of another Qing dynasty vase, last year, after it was uncovered during a house clearance. Once again, the vase's true value remained unsuspected for years.

Believed to have been produced at the Imperial Kilns in around 1740, the vase brought a World Record £53.1m - not only a shock for its sellers but also for Bainbridge, the tiny Ruislip auctioneer which sold it.

Alas, there was a new twist to the sale... After hammering at tens of millions, the vase has not yet been paid for and may have to go under the hammer once more.

Commentators have suggested that the sellers were victims of "auction sabotage", plotted by the Chinese government to sabotage sales of artefacts stolen from its country.

For now, no such misgivings surround the Derby sale. £192,000 is a (relatively) more typical value for a Qing-era collectible, and could spell a very comfortable retirement for its sellers.

 

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