FOUND - Vase Pair Fetches $19 Million

Hidden in Plain Sight... Owner had No Idea they were Valuable

Video
The pair of 18th century vases discovered during routine home valuation.

May 25, 2017
By James Massey, What Sells Best News

LONDON (VIDEO) – A rare pair of 18th century vases, found during a routine valuation, have fetched $19 million (£14 million) at Christie's. Prior to their discovery, the owner had no idea of their rarity or value.

The extremely rare pair of 9-inch-tall Chinese vases, are described as 'Butterfly' double-gourd vases with a Qianlong six-character seal under-glazed in blue. The vases are dated between 1736 and 1795.

Discovery was "Eureka Moment"

The moment of discovery is recalled in a video with Rosemary Scott, a Chinese ceramics specialist for Christie's. "It was one of those wonderful eureka moments, My colleague Jeremy Morgan was on a perfectly normal valuation visit when he walked into the drawing room and there, on the mantelpiece, he saw these vases. He couldn’t believe his eyes."

Chinese Treasures Hidden in Plain Sight

Our research indicates a number of extremely valuable Chinese ceramics have been found in unusual places and circumstances. Often hidden in plain sight.

Here's a few notable examples (note: quoted prices may vary due to currency exchange rates at time of the sale, and buyer premiums which may, or may not, be reflected in prices):

What Should You Look For?

There are a number of highly rated books on Amazon.com, or at your average library. They can help you learn more about the distinctive marks and styles to look for. You might also check out the videos posted below.

Have old Chinese ceramics laying around? Try using the free resources available here for getting free online appraisals from top auction houses. Or try contacting the auctioneers listed above for a free online valuation.

Auction Information

The pair of vases featured in this story were sold in London by Christie's on May 9, 2017. At the time of this publication, they were still listed on the Christie's website as lot number 99.

Today's Most-Watched Antique Chinese Vases on eBay

The following list the Most-Watched Antique 'Chinese Vases' on eBay. Also see the Top 25: Asian Antiques to see which items are fetching the highest bids, worldwide, right now.


LARGE Antique 19th C Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Sgraffiato Medallion Vase

Watchers: 148
Bid Price: $475.00
Time Left:
13h 58m


EARLY 20 TH CENTURY CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE VASE WITH FIGURES & ARTIST SEAL MARK

Watchers: 110
Bid Price: $756.04
Time Left:
1d 17h 56m


Vintage Asian Antique Chinese Vase With Unique Mark On Bottom!

Watchers: 91
Buy It Now: $225.00
Time Left:
4d 20h 40m


Chinese Antique Porcelain Celadon Blue Ru Guan Crackle Vase Ovoid

Watchers: 87
Bid Price: $36.94
Time Left:
1d 14h 32m


RARE! Antique Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Bronze Dragon Luduan Censer 18th C MARKED

Watchers: 83
Bid Price: $1,609.73
Time Left:
14h 25m


HUGE 47cm Antique Chinese Porcelain Blue and White Vase & Wooden Cover Lid 18thC

Watchers: 80
Bid Price: $217.72
Time Left:
5d 14h 5m


Chinese Antique Vase 19th C Porcelain Famille Rose Figures Applied Dragons

Watchers: 78
Bid Price: $135.90
Time Left:
1d 14h 32m


Massive Chinese Export 18th century Mandarin Vase

Watchers: 77
Bid Price: $1,025.00
Time Left:
1d 45m


SUPERB! PAIR Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Vase KANGXI 1662-1722

Watchers: 75
Bid Price: $435.42
Time Left:
7d 13h 55m


LARGE Antique Chinese Relief Moulded Enamel Porcelain Jar & Cover WANG BINGRONG

Watchers: 74
Bid Price: $56.74
Time Left:
14h 19m


Antique Chinese Old Qianlong 卍 Top Quality Porcelain Scrool Pot Asian China Ming

Watchers: 74
Bid Price: $52.00
Time Left:
1d 1h 21m


LARGE Antique Chinese Porcelain Red Glaze Flambe Langyao Ox Blood Vase 19th C

Watchers: 74
Bid Price: $316.67
Time Left:
1d 14h 13m


Important Chinese 17/18th century Cinnabar Sleeve Vase Mark and Period

Watchers: 71
Bid Price: $335.00
Time Left:
1d 39m


A Chinese blue & white vase with immortals Yongzheng mark, 18th/19th/20th/21st c

Watchers: 70
Bid Price: $50.14
Time Left:
1d 14h 3m


LARGE FINE Antique 19th C Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Dragon Vase KANGXI

Watchers: 69
Bid Price: $79.17
Time Left:
1d 14h 6m


Antique Blue and white porcelain jar pagoda in ancient China

Watchers: 68
Buy It Now: $16.98
Time Left:
13d 23h 37m


V-FINE Antique Chinese Porcelain Blue and White Bottle Jar Vase & Cover 19th C

Watchers: 67
Bid Price: $108.19
Time Left:
2d 14h 25m


HUGE 37cm Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Dragon Plate KANGXI 19th C

Watchers: 67
Bid Price: $87.08
Time Left:
7d 13h 53m


Exquisite Large Chinese Blue & White Porcelain Plate Late Qing ~ Republic 17"

Watchers: 66
Buy It Now: $2800.00
Time Left:
8d 52m


FINE Antique Chinese Blue & White Porcelain Vase Flower Planter Tray 18thC QING

Watchers: 66
Bid Price: $101.60
Time Left:
14h 3m


LARGE Antique 19th C Chinese Carved SEVEN Scholars Bamboo Vase Brush Pot Bitong

Watchers: 65
Bid Price: $26.39
Time Left:
1d 14h 21m


Antique Chinese Blue And White Porcelain Vase.

Watchers: 64
Bid Price: $87.00
Time Left:
1d 1h 52m


Fine China Hand Painted flower Blue and White Porcelain vase & Jar

Watchers: 62
Buy It Now: $25.49
Time Left:
5d 1h 31m


Chinese Porcelain Vase 18th C Kangxi Mark Figures Copper Red

Watchers: 62
Bid Price: $29.03
Time Left:
1d 16h 18m


A Chinese antique white jade carved vase with lotus and boy

Watchers: 61
Bid Price: $363.00
Time Left:
5d 1h 55m


Chinese Antique Porcelain Double Gourd Vase Blue White Landscape Figures

Watchers: 60
Bid Price: $12.53
Time Left:
1d 14h 28m


Chinese Famille Rose Vase with Script & Iron Red / Gold Mark

Watchers: 60
Bid Price: $67.29
Time Left:
1d 19h 10m


Pr, Chinese Antique Qing Cloisonne Pear Shaped Large Vases

Watchers: 59
Bid Price: $290.00
Time Left:
23h 36m


Chinese Porcelain Powder Blue Ginger Jar 18th C Famille Verte Figures Phoenix Bi

Watchers: 58
Bid Price: $19.79
Time Left:
8d 16h 25m


19th Century Chinese Yellow Ground Famille Rose Moon Vase with Dragon Motif

Watchers: 58
Bid Price: $134.50
Time Left:
1d 2h 54m


chinese porcelain blue white jar vase marked signed qing dynasty

Watchers: 57
Buy It Now: $66999.00
Time Left:
22d 14h 16m


A Monumental Chinese Qing Dynasty Famille Rose Porcelain Figure Vase.

Watchers: 56
Buy It Now: $12500.00
Time Left:
7d 19h 19m


Antique Chinese Blue White Porcelain Moon Flask Vase Qianlong mark

Watchers: 56
Buy It Now: $6908.88
Time Left:
7d 1h 18m


Large 19th Century Chinese Famille Rose Reticulated Hexagonal Lamp Vase

Watchers: 55
Bid Price: $118.50
Time Left:
1d 2h 31m


FINE Antique Chinese Canton Famille Rose Porcelain Figure Plate Dish c1850 QING

Watchers: 55
Bid Price: $137.22
Time Left:
2d 14h 15m


EXCEPTIONAL, 19TH CENTURY CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE ANIMAL PORCELAIN BALUSTER VASE

Watchers: 53
Bid Price: $31.67
Time Left:
1d 11h 4m


Fine Chinese Rose Mandarin Daoguang Period Planter

Watchers: 53
Bid Price: $134.18
Time Left:
23h 24m


FINE 18THC CHINESE PORCELAIN LANGYAO SANG DE BOEUF FLAMBE MONOCHROME BOTTLE VASE

Watchers: 52
Bid Price: $79.17
Time Left:
5d 15h 7m


LARGE CHINESE 19thC KANGXI 4 CHARACTER MARK SLEEVE VASE - TEMPLE ANTIQUE

Watchers: 52
Bid Price: $48.82
Time Left:
1d 18h 50m


Antique Chinese Monochrome Yellow Crackle Glaze Double Gourd Vase

Watchers: 52
Bid Price: $16.49
Time Left:
1d 19h 56m


Beautiful Antique Chinese 19th C Porcelain Butterfly Wine Cup Tongzhi Mark Qing

Watchers: 51
Bid Price: $34.00
Time Left:
1d 23h 22m


HUGE Antique Chinese Porcelain Verte Apple Green Prunus Vase & Wooden Stand QING

Watchers: 50
Bid Price: $7.26
Time Left:
7d 14h 2m


RARE 19th Century Chinese Blue & White Pheonix Tail Bottle Vase w/ Kangxi Mark

Watchers: 49
Bid Price: $149.10
Time Left:
2d 13m


antique old persian blue turquoise necklace 14k gold clasp other coral amber sal

Watchers: 49
Bid Price: $385.00
Time Left:
1d 15h 39m


Pair of Beautiful Chinese Canton Enamel Vases

Watchers: 48
Bid Price: $200.00
Time Left:
22h 24m


A Pair Important Chinese Qing Dynasty Iron Red Porcelain Gu Vases, Qianlong.

Watchers: 48
Buy It Now: $42500.00
Time Left:
29d 23h 52m


Large 17" Chinese Famille Rose Moon Flask Vase with Script

Watchers: 48
Bid Price: $67.29
Time Left:
1d 19h 12m


16th Century Chinese Longquan Celadon Glaze Incised Porcelain Vase

Watchers: 47
Buy It Now: $2000.00
Time Left:
6d 2h 36m


Impressive Chinese 19thC Famille Rose Tea Bowl Set Oriental Antiques Porcelain

Watchers: 47
Bid Price: $75.21
Time Left:
8d 12h 4m


Beautiful Chinese 19thC Porcelain Oriental Antiques Famille Rose Vase

Watchers: 47
Bid Price: $270.49
Time Left:
8d 12h 12m