FOUND > Attic Vase Fetches $19-Million

Kept in an old shoe-box, because nobody liked it

Rare 18th-century Chinese vase found in an attic.

Updated - June 12, 2018
By James Massey, What Sells Best News

PARIS - Sotheby's reports a rare vase discovered by chance in the attic of a family home, has fetched $19 million (€16.18 million) at auction.

THE DISCOVERY

The vase was left to the current owners grandparents by an uncle. Then, put away in an old shoe-box in the attic. According to a GeoBeats News report, it was because nobody in the family liked it.

The story of the vase discovery as told by Sotheby's.

It wasn't until the vase was taken to Sotheby's Paris office (still in the shoe-box) for a valuation. That the unsuspecting owners had any idea of its true value.

When Sotheby’s specialist Olivier Valmier, opened the box to take a look. He was immediately struck by the quality of the vases craftsmanship.

Research later revealed the 11-inch vase was 18th-century, and extremely rare. Produced for the Qianlong Emperor, by the finest craftsmen of the time.

WHY IT’S VALUABLE

According to Henry Howard-Sneyd, Sotheby's Chairman of Asian Art, Europe and Americas. Chinese art items are extremely sought after by collectors in todays marketplace.

“Chinese art has been admired and collected across Europe for centuries, but the importance of certain pieces is occasionally lost over time. Given the huge appetite for Chinese art among today’s collectors, now is the moment to scour your homes and attics, and to come to us with anything you might find!"

Sotheby's Asian art specialist can be found at the bottom of their press release here. You can also find information for free auction appraisals by other top auction houses, here.

SALE INFORMATION

The vase was sold for $19 million (€16.18 million) after buyer premium, by Sotheby's in Paris on June 12. The presale estimate was $600,000 to $850,000. The vase can be viewed further on Sotheby's website, here.

After the sale, we'll update this story with the final sale results. Sign up for our free treasure alerts to avoid missing the update and/or the discovery of other treasures.

Also, be sure to check out the following research tools and resources, which could help you find your next treasure.

FREE TOOLS & RESEARCH

RESEARCH SOLD PRICES - This gives you a general understanding of current market value, or the highest amounts people may be willing to pay for a particular item.

Comparing sold prices fetched by a variety of auction houses, can also help you determine which auction houses are having the greatest success promoting a particular type of item.

FREE APPRAISALS - Small details can make a big difference in a rare items price, and with forgers sometimes trying to cash in on rare items, it can be helpful to have a reputable expert take a look.



If you think you have something, one of the fastest ways to find out if it may be authentic, and valuable, is to head to our free appraisals page and check with several of the experts listed within the pottery and glass category.

MONITOR PRICES - Another way to monitor the price strength of more common ceramic items, is to keep an eye on the highest bid items in eBay's Ceramic and Asian Antique categories, as well as the antique Chinese vases (below).


HIGH BID > Qianlong Era
| 18th-Century (Reset)

A Famille Rose Vase with Butterflies

Time Left: 4d 5h 2m
$1,025.00 with 10 bids


MASSIVE CHINESE KANGXI PERIOD 1662-1722 POWDER BLUE VASE

Time Left: 14h 39m
$943.00 with 17 bids


Chinese 1830 Famille Rose Mandarin Pair Of Vases Superb Quality

Time Left: 4d 14h 27m
$661.00 with 21 bids


SUPERB CHINESE ROSE MANDARIN DAOGUANG PERIOD BOUGH POT

Time Left: 15h 9m
$621.00 with 35 bids


Museum Quality Antique Sterling Silver Chinese Filigree Vase w Bats Signed 950g

Time Left: 3d 10h 50m
$540.00 with 30 bids


VFINE! PAIR V-LARGE Antique Chinese Canton Porcelain Famille Rose Mandarin Vase

Time Left: 3d 4h 58m
$540.22 with 27 bids


FINE CHINESE KANGXI PERIOD 1662-1722 BLUE AND WHITE VASE

Time Left: 14h 42m
$471.00 with 27 bids


HUGE CHINESE EXPORT ROSE MANDARIN DAOGUANG PERIOD TEMPLE VASE

Time Left: 13h 48m
$455.00 with 58 bids


Fine Mirrored pair of Chinese Famille Verte Kangxi style Vases. Porcelain.

Time Left: 5h 37m
$436.00 with 6 bids


19C Chinese Guangxu Celadon Porcelain Vase w. Cabbage & Butterfly Motifs (Wok)

Time Left: 5d 7h 58m
$388.00 with 1 bids


A LARGE PAIR OF ANTIQUE CHINESE CLOISONNE ENAMEL HEXAGONAL SHAPE VASES

Time Left: 13h 44m
$348.00 with 23 bids


FINE LARGE Chinese Porcelain Celadon LONGQUAN Incised Incense Burner Censer MING

Time Left: 3d 4h 46m
$335.99 with 34 bids


Fine Chinese Canton Famille Rose Vase with pleated rim

Time Left: 5h 25m
$319.00 with 4 bids


Fine Chinese Porcelain Verte Kangxi Style Vase.

Time Left: 5h 34m
$299.00 with 1 bids


A VERY FINE CHINESE 19th CENTURY MOON VASE WITH DRAGONS

Time Left: 3d 2h 32m
$283.28 with 13 bids


FINE! Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Dragon Phoenix Tail Vase KANGXI

Time Left: 3d 3h 29m
$264.84 with 23 bids


HUGE! Chinese Porcelain Blue and White Figure Dragon Moon Flask Vase KANGXI MK

Time Left: 3d 4h 39m
$264.84 with 24 bids


AN ANTIQUE CHINESE BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN SQUARE VASE

Time Left: 7d 13h 41m
$240.50 with 8 bids


PAIR OF ANTIQUE CHINESE EARLY 20THC FAMILLE ROSE VASES, INSCRIPTION & MARKINGS

Time Left: 7d 13h 26m
$235.50 with 10 bids


A PAIR OF ANTIQUE FRENCH ORMOLU- MOUNTED CHINESE TURQUOISE GLAZED VASES

Time Left: 7d 13h 44m
$234.00 with 17 bids


18TH CENTURY CHINESE EXPORT CHICKEN SKIN VASE

Time Left: 14h 27m
$225.00 with 1 bids


IMPORTANT CHINESE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD PRONK STYLE B/W VASE

Time Left: 15h 27m
$224.50 with 34 bids


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

Time Left: 3d 3h 26m
$221.36 with 24 bids


FINE! Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Birds Flower Vase KANGXI 19th C

Time Left: 3d 4h 35m
$212.13 with 20 bids


ANTIQUE CHINESE FAMILLE VERTE HAT STAND , CIRCA 19TH CENTURY

Time Left: 5d 6h 33m
$204.50 with 2 bids


B918: Pair of Chinese flower vase of colorful porcelain of popular JIKKIN style

Time Left: 4d 17h 53m
$199.99 with 1 bids


Vintage Cinnabar Lacquer Vase With Lid Deep Carving

Time Left: 3d 14h 35m
$187.50 with 7 bids


VERY GOOD Chinese Antique Blue and White Porcelain Rouleau Vase and Cup KANGXI

Time Left: 7d 2h 49m
$184.46 with 8 bids


ANTIQUE CHINESE EXPORT ROSE MANDARIN DAOGUANG PERIOD VASE

Time Left: 13h 3m
$182.50 with 38 bids


CHINESE QIANLONG PERIOD BLUE AND WHITE GARLIC NECK VASE C.1760

Time Left: 13h 27m
$180.00 with 26 bids


LARGE PAIR ANTIQUE CHINESE POWDER BLUE GLAZED PORCELAIN COVERED JARS WITH GILT

Time Left: 2d 4h 49m
$170.50 with 15 bids


VERY INTERESTING OLD CHINESE BLUE BRUSH POT WITH SEAL MARK & RAISED DRAGONS RARE

Time Left: 14h 36m
$169.97 with 7 bids


SUPERB! V-LARGE Antique Chinese Porcelain Famille Verte Wucai Vase KANGXI 19th C

Time Left: 3d 5h 2m
$169.97 with 24 bids


antique old natural red coral necklace with gold clasp other cabochons sale

Time Left: 3d 6h 1m
$163.50 with 21 bids


Vintage Chinese Red Cinnabar Vase 10'' Blue Enamel Hand Craved Glaze

Time Left: 2d 4h 31m
$159.50 with 3 bids


RARE c1800 CHINESE QIANLONG TO JIAQING FAMILLE ROSE IMPERIAL FIGURES VASE SIGNED

Time Left: 3d 5h 56m
$154.50 with 16 bids


Lg Vintage Signed Jingdezhen Zhi Chinese Flambe Porcelain Oxblood Vase 8.25in

Time Left: 3d 7h 50m
$152.50 with 9 bids


A pair of hand enamelled Chinese vases

Time Left: 6d 2h 55m
$147.57 with 14 bids


V-FINE! LARGE Antique Chinese Porcelain Blue and White Copper Red Vase c1850

Time Left: 3d 3h 24m
$147.56 with 38 bids


Chinese Qing Dynasty 19th Century B/W Porcelain Vase (kangxi Mark)

Time Left: 3d 11h 1m
$140.00 with 1 bids


Large Antique Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Vase as a Lamp

Time Left: 1d 8h 4m
$139.99 with 1 bids


AN ANTIQUE CHINESE INCISED/CARVED GILT BRONZE CENSER WITH XUANDE MARK

Time Left: 13h 47m
$135.50 with 9 bids


PAIR Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Prunus Blossom Vase KANGXI 19th C

Time Left: 3d 4h 27m
$134.40 with 18 bids


Unique Mirror Pair of Chinese 19th/20th Century Famille Rose Vases, Marked

Time Left: 1d 16h
$123.50 with 8 bids


100% Natural Mi Huang Jade Hand Carved Phoenix Vase f

Time Left: 15h 49m
$119.00 with 23 bids


PAIR ANTIQUE CHINESE SPILL VASE CHRISTIES ESPIRITO SANTO COLLECTION PROVENANCE

Time Left: 3d 7h 56m
$118.58 with 14 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN BLUE WHITE VASE LANDSCAPE UFO 19TH CENTURY

Time Left: 3d 9h 6m
$115.50 with 8 bids


ANTIQUE CHINESE FAMILLE NOIRE GLAZED BISCUIT PORCELAIN PUZZLE TEAPOT & COVER

Time Left: 3d 15h 56m
$110.50 with 13 bids


IMPRESSIVE 19thC Chinese Canton Enamel Box Oriental Cloisonne Antiques

Time Left: 3d 2h 59m
$108.04 with 12 bids


2PCS VINTAGE CHINESE SILVER COPPER HAND CRAFTED VASES

Time Left: 15h 17m
$107.50 with 9 bids


RARE VINTAGE CHINESE PAIR OF CINNABAR HAND CARVED VASES 20TH CENTURY

Time Left: 15h 28m
$107.50 with 16 bids


19th C. Pair Chinese Famille Rose Millefleurs Vases

Time Left: 3d 4h 15m
$107.50 with 17 bids


FINE! Pair Antique 19 C Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Mandarin Gilt Dragon Vase

Time Left: 3d 4h 16m
$100.14 with 23 bids


LARGE 19th C. ANTIQUE CHINESE PEKING GLASS VASE JADE GREEN ON WHITE CARVED CAMEO

Time Left: 4d 14h 43m
$100.00 with 29 bids


Chinese? Japanese? Heavy Brass Vase with Wonderful Applied Figural Dragon Signed

Time Left: 1d 12h 26m
$99.99 with 1 bids


ANTIQUE CHINESE BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN VASE, CIRCA 19TH CENTURY

Time Left: 6d 14h 25m
$99.00 with 1 bids


Antique Chinese Flambe Porcelain Vase Marked.

Time Left: 7d 14h 45m
$99.00 with 1 bids


18/19 Centruy Chenese Blue And White Vase

Time Left: 8d 16h 46m
$99.00 with 1 bids


19 century antiques Chinese Vase

Time Left: 8d 17h 3m
$99.00 with 1 bids


A PAIR OF PERFECT CHINESE PRUNUS VASES WITH MARKS TO BASE

Time Left: 2d 2h 36m
$95.30 with 24 bids


A Pair Of Antique Chinese Carved Bovine Bone Vases With Stands

Time Left: 1d 22m
$93.55 with 3 bids


AN INTERESTING ANTIQUE CHINESE JUN-TYPE PURPLE-SPLASHED PEACH FORM WASHER/DISH

Time Left: 13h 41m
$93.00 with 19 bids


Pair of Chinese Yellow Glazed Porcelain Ginger Jars

Time Left: 15h 46m
$93.00 with 23 bids


Antique Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Coral HUNDRED BUTTERFLIES Vase GUANGXU

Time Left: 3d 4h 15m
$92.23 with 32 bids


GREAT ANTIQUE MINATURE PAIR OF BLUE AND WHITE VASES WITH DRAGON, 19TH CENTURY

Time Left: 5d 23h 50m
$89.00 with 1 bids


Large Chinese Blue and White Celadon Porcelain Two-eared Vase

Time Left: 3d 15h 44m
$88.00 with 13 bids


Pair of Chinese Bronze Luohan Buddhas Statue w/ Wood Stand

Time Left: 3d 15h 48m
$86.00 with 10 bids


Pair of Chinese Begonia Celadon Planters

Time Left: 3d 15h 38m
$82.10 with 7 bids


Antique Chinese Blue and White Crackle GlazeTemple Vase & Lid 19th C CHENGHUA

Time Left: 3d 4h 34m
$81.69 with 16 bids


good large chinese blue and white porcelain dish charger bowl probably yuan

Time Left: 4d 7h 27m
$81.69 with 11 bids


100% Natural Mi Huang Jade Hand Carved Phoenix Vase d

Time Left: 13h 57m
$78.00 with 24 bids


Pair Chinese REPUBLIC PERIOD BOWL VASE BAT&CHILONG Dragon Applied On RIM Exc Vtg

Time Left: 5d 5h 32m
$78.00 with 5 bids


Antique 19th Century Chinese Cloisonne Lobed Vase

Time Left: 1d 13h 23m
$76.00 with 2 bids


Pair of Chinese Imari Porcelain Tea Container Holders

Time Left: 3d 15h 36m
$76.00 with 17 bids


LARGE Antique Chinese Porcelain Canton Famille Rose Figure Lion Mask Vase 19th C

Time Left: 3d 4h 11m
$75.10 with 21 bids


Antique Chinese Japanese? Blue Porceain Molded Dragon Vase 19thc

Time Left: 8h 21m
$75.00 with 1 bids


Antique Yellow Chinese Chicken fat cased Peking glass vase

Time Left: 1d 5h 15m
$75.00 with 1 bids


Large 26.5CM/10.5" Beautiful Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Plate Oriental Antiques

Time Left: 3d 2h 57m
$73.79 with 10 bids


VERY BEAUTIFUL OLD CHINESE CINNABAR LACQUER VASE - DEEP CARVING - EXTREMELY RARE

Time Left: 1d 15h 5m
$72.47 with 16 bids


CHINESE EXPORT BLUE AND WHITE GUGLET BOTTLE VASE CIRCA 1790

Time Left: 15h 31m
$71.00 with 12 bids


Qianlong Signed Antique Chinese Famille Rose High Stem Bowl With Lid

Time Left: 5d 6h 6m
$69.00 with 3 bids


20th C. HongXian Marked Pair Chinese Famille-Rose Beauties Vases

Time Left: 3d 4h 21m
$68.00 with 7 bids


Chinese antique porcelain vase

Time Left: 4d 10h 47m
$68.00 with 13 bids


10 Pieces Chinese 18/19thC Oriental Antiques Blue White Famille Rose Bowls Dish

Time Left: 3d 3h 13m
$67.21 with 12 bids


AN EXCELLENT LARGE ANTIQUE CHINESE CIZHOU-TYPE PAINTED MEPING VASE 19 3/4" HIGH

Time Left: 13h 32m
$67.00 with 5 bids


A LARGE ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN FIGURE OF LI TIEGUAI WITH MARKING

Time Left: 13h 53m
$67.00 with 8 bids


FINE CHINESE TASTE ‘BLANC DE CHINE’ VASE WITH SILK BASE

Time Left: 15h 22m
$66.00 with 11 bids


LARGE ANTIQUE CHINESE SOLID SILVER HUANGHUALI TROPHY SHIELD CALLIGRAPHY SIGNED

Time Left: 3d 8h 40m
$65.88 with 1 bids


LARGE BLUE & WHITE CHINESE PORCELAIN VASE, 20TH C, 6 CHARACTER MARK

Time Left: 3d 14h 47m
$65.00 with 19 bids


Antique Chinese Porcelain Famille Verte Vase Transitional Period Kangxi 17th C.

Time Left: 7d 4h 53m
$64.00 with 11 bids


PAIR old oriental Chinese antique vase cloisonné brass jade green dragon art

Time Left: 3d 1h 19m
$63.24 with 3 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 1h 59m
$62.00 with 10 bids


Vintage Hand Painted Asian Chinese Lidded Vase Urn Rare

Time Left: 6h 27m
$61.00 with 10 bids


NICE PAIR OF OLD CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE PORCELAIN LANDSCAPE DISH W YONGZHENG M

Time Left: 14h 20m
$61.00 with 7 bids


Marked Chinese Folk Brass hollow out Fly Dragon Phoenix Flower Bottle Vase i02

Time Left: 15h 13m
$61.00 with 13 bids


ANTIQUE CHINESE CARVED OR TURNED SPINACH GREEN NEPHRITE JADE CUP VESSEL

Time Left: 3d 15h 46m
$61.00 with 7 bids


PAIR Antique Chinese Blue and White Prunus Blossom Temple Vase & Lid KANGXI 19 C

Time Left: 3d 4h 32m
$60.61 with 32 bids


3x Antique Red CINNABAR Chinese Hand Carved Lacquer Vase Ashtray Floral Motif

Time Left: 3d 8h 1m
$59.99 with 1 bids


Very Rare Chinese Porcelain Apple Green Vase + Cover 18th C. Kangxi 40CM

Time Left: 1d 17h 3m
$58.00 with 7 bids


Chinese Peach Bloom Glazed Porcelain Ewer Tea Pot

Time Left: 3d 15h 34m
$57.00 with 6 bids