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.


SUPERB! 62cm HUGE Antique Chinese Famille Rose Landscape Dragon Vase 19th C

Watchers: 199
Bid Price: $362.62
Time Left:
10h 47m


FINE Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Kangxi style Vase Bitong Brush Pot

Watchers: 164
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A pair China Old of blue and white porcelain vase double happiness

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Antique Blue and white porcelain jar pagoda in ancient China

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SUPERB! Antique Chinese Blue and White Copper-Red Celadon Vase KANGXI c1662-1722

Watchers: 117
Bid Price: $873.95
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Estate Old Chinese Antique Qianlong Oxblood Red Porcelain Qing Vase Asian China

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Bid Price: $99.00
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Beautiful Chinese 19thC Porcelain Oriental Antiques Famille Rose Vase Pot & Lid

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Vintage Asian Antique Chinese Vase With Unique Mark On Bottom!

Watchers: 101
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Fine China Hand Painted flower Blue and White Porcelain vase & Jar

Watchers: 90
Buy It Now: $23.71
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STUNNING LARGE 35CM/13.7" Chinese Antique Porcelain Oriental Grey Glazed Vase

Watchers: 87
Bid Price: $73.05
Time Left:
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FINE! LARGE Antique Chinese YONGZHENG Style Porcelain Famille Rose Vase 19th C

Watchers: 79
Bid Price: $140.88
Time Left:
9h 23m


IMPRESSIVE HUGE 60cm Antique Chinese Blue and White Landscape Floor Vase 19th C

Watchers: 79
Bid Price: $502.19
Time Left:
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Estate Old House Ming Kangxi Yellow Porcelain Bowl Marked Asian China Qing

Watchers: 77
Bid Price: $2,125.00
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Old Chinese Qianlong Porcelain Square Celadon Glaze Vase Qing Asian China

Watchers: 74
Bid Price: $31.00
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Exquisite Large Chinese Blue & White Porcelain Plate Late Qing ~ Republic 17"

Watchers: 73
Buy It Now: $2450.00
Time Left:
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LARGE PAIR Antique Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Mandarin Vase & Cover 19th C

Watchers: 67
Bid Price: $490.45
Time Left:
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FINE ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN POWDER BLUE MONOCHROME KANGXI GINGER JAR VASE

Watchers: 65
Bid Price: $122.61
Time Left:
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Antique Chinese Blue White Porcelain Moon Flask Vase Qianlong mark

Watchers: 64
Buy It Now: $6908.88
Time Left:
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LARGE Antique Chinese Porcelain Canton Famille Rose Flower Figure Vase 19th C

Watchers: 61
Bid Price: $223.05
Time Left:
9h 56m


HUGE! Antique Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Porcelain Figure Lion Vase 19th C

Watchers: 60
Bid Price: $524.37
Time Left:
9h 57m


Antique Chinese Famille Rose Vase Tea Caddy Jar & Cover Wu Shuang Pu 19th C

Watchers: 58
Bid Price: $66.52
Time Left:
10h 22m


FINE! Large Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Crane Vase Qianlong 18th C

Watchers: 57
Bid Price: $25.50
Time Left:
9h 12m


16th Century Chinese Longquan Celadon Glaze Incised Porcelain Vase

Watchers: 57
Buy It Now: $2000.00
Time Left:
28d 21h 53m


Antique Chinese Blue & White Porcelain Planter on Carved Wood Stand

Watchers: 55
Bid Price: $113.50
Time Left:
19h 21m


LARGE Antique Chinese Blue and White Ice Prunus Moonflask Dragon Vase KANGX 19 C

Watchers: 54
Bid Price: $332.62
Time Left:
10h 39m


MIXED LOT OF CHINESE SILVER HINDU INDIAN BRONZE TIBETAN LAMPS STATUES

Watchers: 54
Bid Price: $56.09
Time Left:
1d 9h 26m


FINE! Antique Chinese Blue and White Double Gourd Flower Bird Vase KANGXI 19th C

Watchers: 51
Bid Price: $165.66
Time Left:
8h 59m


Estate Old Chinese Antique Kangxi Family Rose Porcelain Vase Marked Asian China

Watchers: 50
Bid Price: $106.00
Time Left:
21h 5m


Pair of 19thC CHINESE PORCELAIN POEM VASES Famille Verte Rose Qing

Watchers: 50
Bid Price: $31.00
Time Left:
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Estate Old Chinese Antique Huanghuali White 3 Jades Handle Rosewood Asian China

Watchers: 50
Bid Price: $27.00
Time Left:
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FINE CHINESE 17TH CENTURY MING DYNASTY BRONZE CENSER INCENSE BURNER HARDWOOD

Watchers: 49
Bid Price: $97.83
Time Left:
2d 5m


Qianlong 1736-95 Chinese Blue & White Set Oriental Antiques Dish - Nanking Cargo

Watchers: 45
Bid Price: $27.39
Time Left:
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IMPRESSIVE Chinese Qianlong 1736-95 Famille Rose Teapot Antiques Porcelain

Watchers: 45
Bid Price: $44.35
Time Left:
1d 7h 13m


RARE c 1770 QING ANTIQUE CHINESE EXPORT FAMILLE ROSE BALUSTER MOULDED CUP MUG

Watchers: 44
Bid Price: $7.17
Time Left:
3d 10h 40m


20" Classic Blue and White Porcelain Dragon Temple Ceramic Jar Vase, China Mi...

Watchers: 44
Buy It Now: $109.98
Time Left:
5d 23h 18m


V-Impressive Chinese Blue Colour Glazed Vase Antiques Oriental Porcelain

Watchers: 43
Bid Price: $26.09
Time Left:
1d 7h 11m


Massive Chinese Qing Yellow Glaze Dragon Handle Floral Porcelain Moon Flask Vase

Watchers: 43
Buy It Now: $16500.00
Time Left:
3d 18h 21m


FINE! Antique Chinese Bronze Bowl Incense Burner Censer Xuande Mark 19th C 2.2kg

Watchers: 42
Bid Price: $202.18
Time Left:
10h 30m


An antique Chinese blue and white porcelain dragon jar, Kangxi period

Watchers: 42
Buy It Now: $8700.00
Time Left:
6d 21h 9m


A pair of blue and white porcelain vase in ancient qianlong products K

Watchers: 41
Buy It Now: $48.88
Time Left:
7d 21h 24m


Estate Old House Qing Qianlong 2xPorcelain Vases Marked Signed Asian China Qing

Watchers: 40
Bid Price: $51.00
Time Left:
21h 11m


Hall Marked! Chinese Swatow Antiques Oriental Pewter Tea Caddy

Watchers: 40
Bid Price: $31.15
Time Left:
1d 7h 5m


DELICATE JAPANESE CHINA FAMILLE ROSE PORCELAIN HAND PAINTING BELLE VASE QIANLONG

Watchers: 40
Buy It Now: $30.68
Time Left:
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LARGE 24.5CM/9.6" Beautiful Chinese 19C Cloisonne Enamel Plate Oriental Antique

Watchers: 40
Bid Price: $86.09
Time Left:
7h 7m


Antique Chinese Turquoise Monochrome Vase With Crackle - Nineteenth Century

Watchers: 39
Bid Price: $56.09
Time Left:
14h 28m


Antique Style Blue and White Porcelain Flowers Ceramic Covered Jar Vase, Chin...

Watchers: 39
Buy It Now: $27.94
Time Left:
20d 6h 36m


Antique Chinese Porcelain Bottle Vase Turquoise Blue Monochrome Qing Republic

Watchers: 38
Bid Price: $41.74
Time Left:
1d 8h 40m


Very Fine Large Chinese Republic Period Famille Rose Plate Depicting Peaches Bat

Watchers: 38
Buy It Now: $525.00
Time Left:
7d 20h 34m


18th C. KangXi Chinese Blue And White Porcelain Vase

Watchers: 38
Bid Price: $355.00
Time Left:
9h 11m


GROUP OF TWO CHINESE ANTIQUE PORCELAIN VASES

Watchers: 37
Bid Price: $31.00
Time Left:
5d 11h 55m