Qianlong vase initially valued at $1300 sets record price of $69 million at auction

Its been happening so frequently that these headlines are almost starting to become old news. Still, it does make you want to go poking around in your grandmothers attic…

Credit: Reuters/Bainbridges

Neglected Family Vase Sets 66 million Record for Chinese Art at Auction

Apparently the  18th-century  Qianlong-era porcelain vase was discovered while cleaning out a modest London suburb home. Other then knowing it was acquired in the 193o’s, the anonymous family who owned it knows little else as to its origins. According to the auctioneer Bainbridges, the vase itself dates from the  Qianlong period (1740’s) and would have  most definitely been fired in the imperial kilns before finally residing in the Chinese Royal Palace. According to the Antiques Trade Gazette, Bainbridges is a small suburban auction house which normally deals with cheaper antiques, equipment and lawnmowers.  Not bad, considering they stand to reap a 13.8 million dollar buyers premium from the sale. Purchased by a Chinese bidder on behalf of an undisclosed buyer, the sale price was not only more than 40 times the pre-sale estimate, but it set a new record for a Chinese work of art. But wait – it gets better.  “About 30 years ago it was shown on a television show called Going For A Song where an expert appraised it at $1300 as a “very good copy.” Poor guy – I definitely would not want to be him right about now.

Regardless of whatever price was paid, the real or fake, the vase really is absolutely stunning. Beautiful!

The downside? A tax bill totalling a few million.

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4 Comment

  1. Justin Liu says:

    If you watch the auction footage. Someone standing beside the vase picks it up after the gavel was banged. All I could think to myself at that moment is, what if he had dropped it? *shudder*

  2. Wow! It’s a really pretty vase. Not sure it’s worth $69 million, though! I actually think my dad has one that is similar.

  3. $69 million, nice price, but… I’m sure anything on the world is worth as much as some one wants to pay for.

  4. […] in power as the high point of the Qing Dynasty, with Qianlong-era vases and court seals regularly selling for millions at recent auctions in China and […]

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