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 43cm Antique 19th C Chinese Porcelain Famille Verte Wucai Dragon Bird Vase

Watchers: 151
Bid Price: $282.37
Time Left:
2d 16h 10m


FINE Antique Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Phoenix Vase with Seal TONGZHI 19thC

Watchers: 149
Bid Price: $936.63
Time Left:
2d 16h 30m


SUPERB! LARGE Antique Chinese Porcelain Blue and White Teapot YONGZHENG 18th C

Watchers: 140
Bid Price: $1,046.82
Time Left:
2d 16h 44m


SUPERB! Antique Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Bronze Dragon Luduan Censer 18th C MARK

Watchers: 114
Bid Price: $157.02
Time Left:
2d 16h 15m


VERY INTERESTING LARGE BULBOUS CHINESE WUCAI VASE 6 CHARACTER MARK ON THE RIM

Watchers: 105
Bid Price: $472.90
Time Left:
4h 51m


Fine Chinese Porcelain Vase Kangxi Mark

Watchers: 101
Bid Price: $86.00
Time Left:
3d 5h 49m


Vintage Asian Antique Chinese Vase With Unique Mark On Bottom!

Watchers: 100
Buy It Now: $225.00
Time Left:
3d 23h 31m


Antique Chinese Story Vase Blue And White Urn 19thC. Walnut Plinth & Lid c.1875

Watchers: 94
Bid Price: $1,557.84
Time Left:
3d 16h 35m


SUPERB! Antique Chinese Porcelain Blue and White Burner Censer 18th C KANGXI?

Watchers: 93
Bid Price: $75.76
Time Left:
5d 16h 47m


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

Watchers: 91
Buy It Now: $25.49
Time Left:
4d 4h 22m


SUPERB CHINESE KANGXI PERIOD BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN VASE JAR HARDWOOD STAND

Watchers: 87
Bid Price: $517.90
Time Left:
5d 18h 35m


antique old natural red coral necklace other china vases turquoise gold sale

Watchers: 87
Bid Price: $91.00
Time Left:
3d 18h 7m


Chinese Porcelain Bottle Vase Turquoise Monochrome Antique Qing Dynasty Republic

Watchers: 73
Bid Price: $79.89
Time Left:
1d 17h 3m


18th/19th C. Chinese Famille-rose Hexagon Flower Pot And Tray

Watchers: 70
Bid Price: $585.00
Time Left:
3d 17h 16m


LARGE Antique 19th C Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Gilt Dragon Mandarin Vase

Watchers: 69
Bid Price: $876.03
Time Left:
5d 16h 43m


Fine Chinese Blue and White Vase Kangxi Mark

Watchers: 68
Bid Price: $22.00
Time Left:
3d 5h 41m


Antique Chinese Celadon Glaze Lobed Squat Vase

Watchers: 67
Bid Price: $24.79
Time Left:
22h 57m


2 CHINESE porcelain water pots 19/20 th. C. famille rose artist signed

Watchers: 67
Bid Price: $143.50
Time Left:
16h 15m


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

Watchers: 66
Buy It Now: $2450.00
Time Left:
7d 3h 42m


imperial quality CHINESE porcelain vase 19 th. C. blue&white 3 friends of winter

Watchers: 64
Bid Price: $222.50
Time Left:
16h 10m


H=36.5 CM CHINESE porcelain OX-BLOOD RED FLAMBE glazed vase 19 th. C

Watchers: 64
Bid Price: $118.50
Time Left:
16h 56m


Antique Blue and white porcelain jar pagoda in ancient China

Watchers: 63
Buy It Now: $16.98
Time Left:
13d 2h 27m


chinese porcelain blue white jar vase marked signed qing dynasty

Watchers: 61
Buy It Now: $66999.00
Time Left:
21d 17h 6m


FINE CHINESE QING DYNASTY HARDWOOD DISPLAY STAND

Watchers: 60
Bid Price: $81.27
Time Left:
15h 46m


CHINESE porcelain sky-blue clairde lune glazed vase 19/20 th. C. yongzheng mark

Watchers: 59
Bid Price: $148.50
Time Left:
16h 46m


A Monumental Chinese Qing Dynasty Famille Rose Porcelain Figure Vase.

Watchers: 58
Buy It Now: $12500.00
Time Left:
6d 22h 9m


Antique Chinese Blue White Porcelain Moon Flask Vase Qianlong mark

Watchers: 58
Buy It Now: $6908.88
Time Left:
6d 4h 8m


16th Century Chinese Longquan Celadon Glaze Incised Porcelain Vase

Watchers: 57
Buy It Now: $2000.00
Time Left:
5d 5h 26m


FINE Antique 19th C Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Vase Jar and Lion Cover

Watchers: 57
Bid Price: $62.89
Time Left:
2d 16h 19m


A Large And Rare Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Vase

Watchers: 57
Bid Price: $92.00
Time Left:
3d 5h 28m


Chinese bronze Gu shape vase Ming dynasty 19.6cms

Watchers: 57
Bid Price: $35.81
Time Left:
3d 16h 49m


Large Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Prunus Blossom Vase/ Jar and Cover

Watchers: 56
Bid Price: $59.23
Time Left:
5d 16h 38m


Perfect Chinese Porcelain B/W Vase Figures 19th C. - Kangxi Mark - Quality!

Watchers: 56
Bid Price: $157.50
Time Left:
1d 4h 18m


Perfect Chinese Porcelain Light-Blue Monochrome Vase 19th C. Yongzheng Mark

Watchers: 55
Bid Price: $768.00
Time Left:
1d 4h 58m


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

Watchers: 55
Bid Price: $181.82
Time Left:
2d 16h 24m


FINE 18TH CHINESE POWDER BLUE ENAMEL GLAZED LIDDED MEIPING JAR VASE

Watchers: 55
Bid Price: $733.00
Time Left:
8h 25m


18th/19th C. Chinese Famille Rose Baluster Jar And Wood Cover

Watchers: 55
Bid Price: $239.50
Time Left:
3d 17h 20m


SUPERB CHINESE TASTE 18TH CENTURY FAMILLE VERTE BOTTLE VASE

Watchers: 55
Bid Price: $265.00
Time Left:
3d 3h 38m


Antique Chinese 18th Century Ruby Red Beijing Glass Bottle Vase Qianlong Mark

Watchers: 54
Bid Price: $23.25
Time Left:
7d 22h 50m


ANTIQUE CHINESE 18TH CENTURY BLUE AND WHITE JAR POSSIBLY KANGXI PERIOD

Watchers: 54
Bid Price: $95.00
Time Left:
3d 3h 20m


Chinese Large Jun Ware Vase

Watchers: 54
Bid Price: $26.17
Time Left:
23h 11m


Pair Chinese Kangxi Vase Blue and White Dragon Antique 19th Century Porcelain

Watchers: 53
Bid Price: $20.66
Time Left:
3d 20h 47m


Antique 19th C Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Phoenix Vase KANGXI Mark

Watchers: 52
Bid Price: $26.17
Time Left:
5d 16h 37m


Antique Chinese Late 19th Century Celadon Glazed Jar & Cover with Yongzheng Mark

Watchers: 50
Bid Price: $27.55
Time Left:
7d 22h 54m


Pair of Chinese Iron-Red Porcelain Vases

Watchers: 50
Bid Price: $91.00
Time Left:
3d 5h 23m


Pr, Chinese Antique Qing Dynasty Cloisonne Pear Shaped Large Vases

Watchers: 49
Bid Price: $153.50
Time Left:
3d 3h 35m


FINE CHINESE KANGXI PERIOD (1661-1722) FAMILLE VERTE PLATE

Watchers: 49
Bid Price: $73.00
Time Left:
3d 5h 26m


19th C. Guangxu Mark Pair Chinese Vases with Elephant Handles

Watchers: 49
Bid Price: $465.00
Time Left:
3d 17h 28m


STUNNING LARGE ANTIQUE CHINESE KANGXI PORCELAIN FIGURAL VASE

Watchers: 49
Bid Price: $42.70
Time Left:
5d 14h 1m


IMPORTANT PR, CHINESE CINNABAR QIANLONG MARK AND PERIOD VASES

Watchers: 48
Bid Price: $305.00
Time Left:
3d 4h 5m