Couple gets $800,000 for Broken Vase

Rare 18th century Qianlong vase discovered during a free online appraisal

January 5, 2014
By James Massey - An English couple is $800,000 richer thanks to their emailing an auction house photos of their chipped, cracked, and staple-repaired Chinese vase for a free valuation.

Photos: Toovey's

They had no idea, until...

The Express reports Tom Rowsell a Chinese porcelain specialist for Toovey’s received their email, and reviewed the images of a number of items they were considering selling at auction.

Apparently, all the items were modest except for the vase. Which Rowsell immediately saw as something with potentially substantial value.

"As expert Tom Rowsell flicked through the images he nearly spilt his tea when he clicked on the vase and immediately identified it as unique."

Toovey's blog stated; "The couple subsequently brought the vase to Toovey’s to show Tom in person and he confirmed his thoughts that the vase was almost certainly Qianlong mark and period and a highly commercial piece in the current market. Toovey’s Oriental consultant, Lars Tharp, later concurred with Tom’s opinion."

The couple, who inherited the vase, had no idea of its value prior to contacting Toovey’s.

They had inherited the vase from the wife's recently deceased father, whom she thought bought the vase in the 1960s.

One shudders to think what might have happened, if they hadn't sought out a free valuation.

Why's it rare and valuable?

The vase from the 18th century was made for one of the palaces of the Chinese Emperor Qianlong. Even though a large chunk of the rim had been broken off and it had crude repairs that used staples. It's extremely rare and valuable to collectors. According to The Express article it is thought to be worth at least twice the amount if it hadn't been damaged.

Video of the Qianlong Vase Auction at Toovey's (Source: BN:Coded Limited)

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