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.


FINE ANTIQUE CHINESE COPPER RED GLAZED PORCELAIN VASE - QIANLONG ROCKEFELLER

Watchers: 149
Bid Price: $1,975.00
Time Left:
4d 20h 50m


IMPORTANT LARGE ANTIQUE CHINESE MEIPING FORM VASE WITH DRAGON + KANGXI MARK

Watchers: 143
Bid Price: $2,275.00
Time Left:
4d 21h 36m


A Rare and Important Chinese Qianlong Monochrome Vase, Mark and of Period.

Watchers: 107
Buy It Now: $24500.00
Time Left:
13d 8h 9m


Antique Chinese 19th Century Monochrome Blue Vase Gold Painted Birds Trees LARGE

Watchers: 100
Bid Price: $703.17
Time Left:
3d 14h 6m


CHINESE PORCELAIN YELLOW AND GRISAILLE ROUND COVERED BOX WITH MARK

Watchers: 97
Bid Price: $125.00
Time Left:
4d 22h 16m


LARGE PAIR OF CHINESE BRONZE CONG FORM VASES WITH DRAGONS AND MARKS

Watchers: 96
Bid Price: $350.00
Time Left:
4d 20h 5m


SMALL CHINESE PORCELAIN ROUND JAR WITH FIGURES + WRITING - DAOGUANG

Watchers: 91
Bid Price: $241.50
Time Left:
4d 22h 34m


VERY LARGE AND IMPRESSIVE PAIR OF ANTIQUE CHINESE BLUE WHITE PORCELAIN JARS

Watchers: 90
Bid Price: $285.00
Time Left:
4d 22h 2m


IMPORTANT ANTIQUE CHINESE COPPER RED GLAZED PORCELAIN BOTTLE VASE - QIANLONG

Watchers: 85
Bid Price: $371.00
Time Left:
4d 20h 52m


SUPERB CHINESE BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN CENSER JIAJING MARK PROBABLY PERIOD

Watchers: 80
Bid Price: $1,433.39
Time Left:
4d 11h 6m


FINE ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN COVERED JAR VASE WITH COLORFUL BIRD + FLOWERS

Watchers: 76
Bid Price: $890.00
Time Left:
4d 20h 46m


LARGE CHINESE CARVED CELADON PORCELAIN VASE WITH MARK

Watchers: 73
Bid Price: $310.00
Time Left:
4d 22h 18m


ANTIQUE CHINESE BLANC DE CHINE PORCELAIN BOTTLE VASE 18/19C

Watchers: 71
Bid Price: $118.50
Time Left:
4d 21h 46m


MASSIVE ANTIQUE CHINESE BLUE WHITE MOON FLASK VASE W FIGURES ON HORSEBACK

Watchers: 70
Bid Price: $600.80
Time Left:
4d 21h 4m


Antique Blue and white porcelain jar pagoda in ancient China

Watchers: 68
Buy It Now: $16.98
Time Left:
11d 19h 49m


Very Fine Chinese Kangxi Blue & White Porcelain Vase with Ormolu Mounts ca1700

Watchers: 66
Bid Price: $143.34
Time Left:
3d 15h 6m


Marked, STUNNING Chinese Porcelain Oriental Sancai Beast Vase

Watchers: 65
Bid Price: $292.09
Time Left:
3d 8h 36m


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

Watchers: 65
Buy It Now: $3500.00
Time Left:
5d 21h 4m


Large Chinese Famille Rose Buddhist Auspicious Symbols Vase Qianlong Mark

Watchers: 64
Bid Price: $152.80
Time Left:
3d 14h 41m


Superb antique Chinese pink peking glass lotus vase c.1900

Watchers: 63
Bid Price: $163.62
Time Left:
3d 14h 2m


Fine pair of antique late 19th century Chinese cinnabar dragon vases

Watchers: 63
Bid Price: $31.10
Time Left:
3d 13h 56m


Fine antique Chinese 17th / 18th century bronze Gu vase

Watchers: 61
Bid Price: $70.33
Time Left:
3d 13h 53m


Antique Chinese Qing Dynasty Blue White Porcelain Moon Flask Vase Qianlong mark

Watchers: 59
Buy It Now: $9908.88
Time Left:
4d 21h 30m


fine antique Chinese SILVER OPENWORK VASE 19th century export LW mark? LUEN WO?

Watchers: 58
Bid Price: $152.50
Time Left:
3d 10h 37m


Chinese Bronze Vase For Incense Tools. Xuande Mark

Watchers: 58
Bid Price: $327.24
Time Left:
3d 14h 38m


antique old stock natural red coral necklace silver clasp gold Plated

Watchers: 57
Bid Price: $450.00
Time Left:
3d 11h 56m


LARGE PAIR OF CHINESE CLOISONNE KU FORM VASES WITH DRAGONS

Watchers: 56
Bid Price: $157.50
Time Left:
4d 19h 59m


ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN POWDER BLUE GLAZED AND GILT COVERED JAR VASE

Watchers: 55
Bid Price: $435.00
Time Left:
4d 21h 24m


LARGE Antique Chinese porcelain COVERED DRAGON VASE 19th Century BLUE & WHITE

Watchers: 53
Bid Price: $96.00
Time Left:
3d 10h 17m


LARGE ANTIQUE CHINESE BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN COVERED JAR

Watchers: 53
Bid Price: $107.50
Time Left:
4d 22h 13m


IMPRESSIVE Chinese Qianlong 1736-95 Porcelain Antiques Oriental Blue White Plate

Watchers: 52
Bid Price: $14.20
Time Left:
3d 8h 22m


A Monumental Chinese Qing Dynasty Famille Rose Porcelain Figure Vase.

Watchers: 52
Buy It Now: $12500.00
Time Left:
5d 15h 31m


OLD CHINESE CARVED WHITE JADE BELT ORNAMENT IN FORM OF VASE

Watchers: 51
Bid Price: $137.50
Time Left:
4d 20h 59m


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

Watchers: 50
Buy It Now: $42500.00
Time Left:
27d 20h 4m


chinese porcelain blue white jar vase marked signed qing dynasty

Watchers: 49
Buy It Now: $66999.00
Time Left:
20d 10h 28m


ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN VASE WITH DETAILED FIGURES IN LANDSCAPE AND MARK

Watchers: 48
Bid Price: $413.00
Time Left:
4d 20h 48m


A Pair Rare and Important Chinese Ming Dynasty Wan Li Mei Ping Vases.

Watchers: 48
Buy It Now: $47500.00
Time Left:
7d 20h 26m


16th Century Chinese Longquan Celadon Glaze Incised Porcelain Vase

Watchers: 48
Buy It Now: $2000.00
Time Left:
3d 22h 48m


LARGE ANTIQUE CHINESE FAHUA GLAZED FOOTED POTTERY CENSER

Watchers: 48
Bid Price: $350.00
Time Left:
4d 21h 18m


STUNNING Chinese Porcelain Oriental Antiques Blue and White Vase

Watchers: 47
Bid Price: $140.63
Time Left:
3d 8h 26m


ANTIQUE CHINESE APPLE GREEN GLAZED PORCELAIN BOTTLE VASE

Watchers: 45
Bid Price: $44.00
Time Left:
4d 22h 8m


UNUSUAL PAIR OF ANTIQUE CHINESE MINIATURE PORCELAIN PLAQUES WITH DRAGONS

Watchers: 45
Bid Price: $39.00
Time Left:
4d 21h 34m


Chinese famille rose vase antique porcelain pottery signed blue circles marked

Watchers: 44
Bid Price: $355.00
Time Left:
3d 8h 49m


PAIR OF ANTIQUE CHINESE CARVED THREE COLOR CINNABAR LACQUER VASES

Watchers: 43
Bid Price: $45.99
Time Left:
4d 19h 39m


Antique Chinese Porcelain Famille Verte Vase Kangxi Style Qing Birds Painting

Watchers: 43
Bid Price: $33.00
Time Left:
2d 12h 34m


V-Impressive 52CM Wide Chinese Oriental Antiques Rice Paper Pith Paintings -- A

Watchers: 43
Bid Price: $36.51
Time Left:
3d 7h 52m


V-Impressive 52CM Wide Chinese Oriental Antiques Rice Paper Pith Paintings -- B

Watchers: 43
Bid Price: $35.16
Time Left:
3d 7h 54m


17th 18th Century Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Bottle Vase

Watchers: 43
Buy It Now: $1690.31
Time Left:
2d 9h 51m


RARE! Chinese Qianlong 1736-1795 Antique Porcelain Oriental Famille Rose Plate

Watchers: 42
Bid Price: $124.41
Time Left:
3d 8h 14m


archaize Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Vase Home DecorateVase qianlong marked

Watchers: 42
Buy It Now: $14.39
Time Left:
24d 22h 18m