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 pair 17thc chinese blue and white porcelain bowls chenghua mk kangxi period

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A pair China Old of blue and white porcelain vase double happiness

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fine pair 17thc chinese blue and white porcelain meiping vase kangxi mk& period

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A LARGE 19TH C QING CHINESE FAMILLE VERTE PORCELAIN HAND PAINTED JARDINIERE BOWL

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Watchers: 82
Bid Price: $21.68
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Bid Price: $224.44
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Watchers: 76
Buy It Now: $23.96
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Exquisite Large Chinese Blue & White Porcelain Plate Late Qing ~ Republic 17"

Watchers: 75
Buy It Now: $2450.00
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amazing large pair of antique Chinese blue and white porcelain signed vases 15" 

Watchers: 67
Bid Price: $123.69
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Antique Chinese Famille Rose Vase

Watchers: 67
Bid Price: $204.03
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Watchers: 62
Bid Price: $293.30
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Estate Old House Chinese Antique Porcelain Vase Blue Kangxi Marked Asian China

Watchers: 61
Bid Price: $557.00
Time Left:
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A RARE FINE CHINESE 19TH C QING DYNASTY PORCELAIN CELADON CRACKLE GLAZE CENSER

Watchers: 61
Bid Price: $67.59
Time Left:
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Antique Chinese Blue White Porcelain Moon Flask Vase Qianlong mark

Watchers: 61
Buy It Now: $6908.88
Time Left:
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16th Century Chinese Longquan Celadon Glaze Incised Porcelain Vase

Watchers: 60
Buy It Now: $2000.00
Time Left:
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A Monumental Chinese Qing Dynasty Famille Rose Porcelain Figure Vase.

Watchers: 59
Buy It Now: $12500.00
Time Left:
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A Pair Of 2 Chinese Estate Old Kangxi Yellow Dragon Bowls Marked Asian China

Watchers: 58
Bid Price: $19.00
Time Left:
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antique old stock natural red coral necklace and broch LAST STOCK!

Watchers: 53
Bid Price: $352.00
Time Left:
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Fine China Hand Painted flower Blue and White Porcelain vase & Jar

Watchers: 53
Buy It Now: $23.49
Time Left:
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17thc chinese blue and white porcelain vase kangxi khang shi censer incense bowl

Watchers: 52
Bid Price: $12.11
Time Left:
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A Pair Rare and Important Chinese Ming Dynasty Wan Li Mei Ping Vases.

Watchers: 51
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Watchers: 51
Buy It Now: $15.95
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good 18thc chinese famille rose porcelain dish mandarin export plate qianlong

Watchers: 48
Bid Price: $33.16
Time Left:
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BEAUTIFUL GLAZED CHINESE VASE WITH SEAL MARK TO BASE -STUNNING FINISH VERY RARE

Watchers: 46
Bid Price: $47.18
Time Left:
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Watchers: 46
Bid Price: $14.66
Time Left:
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rare pair 17thc chinese porcelain clobbered candlestick statue kangxi khang shi

Watchers: 45
Bid Price: $186.18
Time Left:
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19thC Antique Signed Chinese Blue White Porcelain Vase, w/ Lions & Dragons

Watchers: 44
Bid Price: $165.50
Time Left:
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Rare Pair Of Chinese Hand Painted Triple Neck Gourd Quality Vases

Watchers: 44
Bid Price: $67.59
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DELICATE JAPANESE CHINA FAMILLE ROSE PORCELAIN HAND PAINTING BELLE VASE QIANLONG

Watchers: 44
Buy It Now: $31.01
Time Left:
8d 7h 45m


Chinese Republic Period Vase With Original Box

Watchers: 43
Bid Price: $126.50
Time Left:
1d 12h 25m


antique old stock natural red coral necklace other coral cabochons gold sale

Watchers: 43
Bid Price: $49.00
Time Left:
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19th C. Pair Chinese Famille-Rose Foliate Rim Vases

Watchers: 42
Bid Price: $343.00
Time Left:
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Rare Large 19thC Chinese Apple Green Monochrome Crackle Glaze Ginger Jar Qing

Watchers: 42
Bid Price: $29.33
Time Left:
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A pair of blue and white porcelain vase in ancient qianlong products K

Watchers: 42
Buy It Now: $48.88
Time Left:
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Large Antique Chinese Blue And White Vase

Watchers: 40
Bid Price: $40.81
Time Left:
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Massive Chinese Qing Yellow Glaze Dragon Handle Floral Porcelain Moon Flask Vase

Watchers: 40
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Time Left:
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18th C. QianLong Chinese Pair Mandarin Covered Vases

Watchers: 38
Buy It Now: $9500.00
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20" Classic Blue and White Porcelain Dragon Temple Ceramic Jar Vase, China Mi...

Watchers: 38
Buy It Now: $109.98
Time Left:
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Very Fine Large Chinese Republic Period Famille Rose Plate Depicting Peaches Bat

Watchers: 37
Buy It Now: $525.00
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13d 20h 28m


Very Fine Large Early 1900 Chinese Green Peking Glass Vase Phoenix Butterfly 12"

Watchers: 37
Buy It Now: $385.00
Time Left:
3d 22h 3m


Large 19th Century Chinese Cantonese famile rose vase

Watchers: 37
Bid Price: $12.11
Time Left:
16h 5m


Large 17½” Antique Chinese Crackle Glaze Dragon Vase Qing Dynasty Chenghua Mark

Watchers: 37
Bid Price: $335.38
Time Left:
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An antique Chinese blue and white porcelain dragon jar, Kangxi period

Watchers: 37
Buy It Now: $8700.00
Time Left:
12d 21h 3m