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)

Estate Old House Ming Kangxi Yellow Porcelain Bowl Marked Asian China Qing

Time Left: 1d 20h 22m
$2,125.00 with 38 bids


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

Time Left: 9h 25m
$991.34 with 41 bids


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

Time Left: 9h 47m
$873.95 with 48 bids


FINE CHINESE 19TH C.CENTURY FAMILLE VERTE PORCELAIN BALUSTER VASES AND COVER

Time Left: 3d 20h 19m
$810.00 with 15 bids


Rare Large 23" Cizhou Vase, Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) Pristine Condition!

Time Left: 1h 34m
$620.00 with 3 bids


FINE CHINESE 19TH C.CENTURY CHINESE WU SHUANG PU FAMILLE ROSE HU VASE WITH STAND

Time Left: 3d 20h 9m
$601.00 with 28 bids


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

Time Left: 9h 58m
$524.37 with 34 bids


RARE SET 7 c1900 HUNG CHONG & Co CHINESE EXPORT STERLING SILVER INGOT NUT DISHES

Time Left: 1d 20h 8m
$522.00 with 13 bids


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

Time Left: 9h 18m
$502.19 with 30 bids


LARGE PAIR Antique Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Mandarin Vase & Cover 19th C

Time Left: 9h 5m
$490.45 with 39 bids


ANTIQUE CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE PORCELAIN VASE PHOENIX BIRD BUTTERFLIES FLOWERS NR

Time Left: 18h 43m
$460.00 with 14 bids


Pair of Chinese carved red cinnabar vases, H 12.25 x 5.5" Brass

Time Left: 6d 13h 11m
$455.00 with 2 bids


Beautiful Chinese 19thC Porcelain Oriental Antiques Famille Rose Vase Pot & Lid

Time Left: 7h 15m
$371.75 with 43 bids


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

Time Left: 10h 47m
$362.62 with 42 bids


18th C. KangXi Chinese Blue And White Porcelain Vase

Time Left: 9h 11m
$355.00 with 72 bids


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

Time Left: 10h 40m
$332.62 with 21 bids


Chinese Antique Pair of Yixing Enameled Vases with Calligraphy & Scenes - Zisha

Time Left: 7h 27m
$255.66 with 11 bids


Chinese Qing Dynasty Porcelain Bowl and Cover

Time Left: 4d 9h 50m
$247.84 with 3 bids


Antique Chinese porcelain iron red glaze Jar

Time Left: 19h 44m
$243.50 with 20 bids


FINE PAIR 19TH C.CENTURY CHINESE PORCELAIN FAMILLE VERTE VIBRANT COLORS VASES

Time Left: 3d 20h 4m
$238.50 with 13 bids


19th/20th C. Pair Chinese White-Galzed ‘FULUSHOU’ Vases

Time Left: 9h 3m
$224.50 with 7 bids


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

Time Left: 9h 57m
$223.05 with 19 bids


Old Chinese Bronze Yi Pot with Handle

Time Left: 3d 11h 10m
$217.65 with 15 bids


18th C. QianLong Pair Chinese Famille-rose Covered Baluster Vases

Time Left: 8h 59m
$217.50 with 10 bids


Old Fine Chinese Carved Jade Dragon Vase H7.87”

Time Left: 3d 10h 24m
$215.50 with 14 bids


Lot 42: Chinese Antique Famille Rose Moulded "Hundred Antique" Vase,1900-1940

Time Left: 21h 40m
$210.50 with 15 bids


Late Qing Flambe Oxblood Langyao Ginger Jars Transmutation Red Vases Lamped yqz

Time Left: 20h 3m
$208.00 with 18 bids


LARGE CHINESE QING PEROD HAND PAINTED BLUE AND WHITE ANTIQUE VASE

Time Left: 8d 19h 19m
$207.50 with 10 bids


VERY RARE ANTIQUE LONGQUAN CELADON PORCELAIN BOWL DISH - CENSER MING PERIOD

Time Left: 13h 17m
$204.79 with 9 bids


Chinese antique red dragon meiping vase Ming dynasty style

Time Left: 19h 55m
$202.50 with 11 bids


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

Time Left: 10h 31m
$202.18 with 31 bids


A Chinese Antique Bronze Exquisite Ritual Wine Vessel GU Vase Shang Dynasty SA03

Time Left: 3d 5h 21m
$202.18 with 22 bids


Old Rare Large Blue and White Chinese Porcelain Vase Kangxi MK H11.81”

Time Left: 3d 10h 34m
$199.50 with 18 bids


Pair Old Rare Famille Rose Chinese Porcelain Flower Gu Vase Qianlong MK

Time Left: 3d 11h 6m
$191.50 with 11 bids


Old Rare Famille Rose Chinese Porcelain Fifgure&Flower Vase Kangxi MK H17.13”

Time Left: 3d 11h
$178.50 with 15 bids


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

Time Left: 9h
$165.66 with 18 bids


Chinese Famille Rose Enamelled Porcelain Vase 1000 Boys Children Playing

Time Left: 2d 12h 22m
$161.75 with 9 bids


18th C. Chinese Gilt Porcelain Covered Baluster Vase

Time Left: 9h 5m
$158.05 with 12 bids


Qianlong Signed Pair Antique Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Vase w/ Bird flower

Time Left: 2d 10h 48m
$157.50 with 21 bids


Antique Chinese Blue & White Porcelain Pot Jar w/ Figures

Time Left: 2d 10h 6m
$156.50 with 8 bids


Chinese Pair Porcelain Meiping Guan Vases + Stands Blue Grey Crackle Glaze

Time Left: 4d 11h 50m
$153.92 with 6 bids


IMPRESSIVE 30CM/12" LARGE Chinese Blue White Vase Antiques Oriental Porcelain

Time Left: 7h 11m
$150.01 with 29 bids


CHINESE DOUBLE HANDLE CRACKLE GLAZED VASE WITH PROVENANCE

Time Left: 18h
$149.00 with 1 bids


Very Large Fine Old Chinese Bronze Made Pot Vase Statue AUSPICIOUS BEAST STYLE

Time Left: 2d 20h 51m
$148.20 with 12 bids


FINE! LARGE Antique Chinese YONGZHENG Style Porcelain Famille Rose Vase 19th C

Time Left: 9h 24m
$140.88 with 28 bids


LARGE Antique Chinese Canton Famille Rose Porcelain Baluster Vase 19th Century

Time Left: 7d 8h 32m
$139.57 with 9 bids


Vintage Large Chinese Japanese Oriental Vase 35cm Tall

Time Left: 3d 15h 10m
$138.27 with 20 bids


Impressive Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Brush Pot Bowl Oriental Antiques

Time Left: 7h 9m
$136.96 with 46 bids


ANTIQUE 19th C CHINESE FAMILLE VERTE VASE KANGXI MARK 12"

Time Left: 9h 55m
$133.05 with 4 bids


Antique 18/19thC Chinese Qing Xuande Bronze Incense Burner Signed ?

Time Left: 2d 5h 7m
$130.43 with 1 bids


Antique Chinese Famille Rose Vase 34cm

Time Left: 9d 6h 29m
$130.43 with 1 bids


19th C. FAMILLE-ROSE BALUSTER COVERED VASE

Time Left: 9h 13m
$124.50 with 11 bids


FINE ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN POWDER BLUE MONOCHROME KANGXI GINGER JAR VASE

Time Left: 8h 10m
$122.61 with 27 bids


antique chinese cafe au lait crackle vase kangxi period likely

Time Left: 4d 14h 35m
$122.50 with 20 bids


R5910: XF Chinese Wooden Shapely GARDEN TUB Flower vase stand Table

Time Left: 22h 35m
$119.99 with 1 bids


20th C. Chinese Dragon Red and Black Lacquer Lidded Jar

Time Left: 8h 57m
$113.50 with 8 bids


18th C. Chinese Gilt Porcelain Covered Baluster Vase

Time Left: 9h 8m
$113.50 with 6 bids


Antique Chinese Blue & White Porcelain Planter on Carved Wood Stand

Time Left: 19h 21m
$113.50 with 12 bids


Vintage Chinese famille rose wall vases

Time Left: 3d 19h 47m
$110.00 with 1 bids


Chinese calligraphy brush washer gold fish with Qing Qianlong seal

Time Left: 18h 25m
$109.95 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 21h 6m
$106.00 with 15 bids


Antique Qing Dynasty Chinese Cloisonne Censer Box Archaic Dragon Beast

Time Left: 18h 44m
$105.00 with 12 bids


Antique Qing Dynasty Chinese Cloisonne Censer Box Archaic Dragon Beast

Time Left: 18h 47m
$104.50 with 13 bids


Vintage Famille Rose Chinese narcissus bowl Vase ladies & poetry

Time Left: 3d 20h 20m
$102.50 with 2 bids


Estate Old House Qing Kangxi Yellow Porcelain Bowl Marked Asian China Ming

Time Left: 5d 20h 18m
$102.50 with 12 bids


CHINESE GINGER OR MEDICINE JAR - 17-18TH CENTURY

Time Left: 1d 8h 26m
$100.00 with 1 bids


Chinese Qing Dynasty Wucai Enamel Porcelain Vase Tongzhi era 1862 to 1874

Time Left: 19h 25m
$99.00 with 1 bids


Estate Old Chinese Antique Qianlong Oxblood Red Porcelain Qing Vase Asian China

Time Left: 2d 20h 41m
$99.00 with 33 bids


FINE CHINESE 17TH CENTURY MING DYNASTY BRONZE CENSER INCENSE BURNER HARDWOOD

Time Left: 2d 6m
$97.83 with 12 bids


Chinese jade covered vessel, jar with dragons, China

Time Left: 6d 14h 20m
$95.00 with 1 bids


Large Chinese Republic Famile Rose Vase Marked On Base

Time Left: 11h 17m
$91.31 with 1 bids


Chinese antique Ge ware calligraphy brush washer circa 1900s

Time Left: 18h 59m
$89.95 with 1 bids


A Pair of 18th C. Chinese Small Blue and White Beaker/Sleeve Vases

Time Left: 7h 13m
$87.39 with 8 bids


FINE! Antique Chinese Porcelain Blue and White Tea Caddy Vase KANGXI c1662-1722

Time Left: 9h 41m
$87.39 with 12 bids


LARGE 24.5CM/9.6" Beautiful Chinese 19C Cloisonne Enamel Plate Oriental Antique

Time Left: 7h 7m
$86.09 with 35 bids


19c Chinese Rose Mandarin Vase and Cover

Time Left: 1d 5h 12m
$80.87 with 2 bids


Massive Chinese Blue And White 18th Century Vase

Time Left: 3d 16h 28m
$79.00 with 1 bids


ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN VASE 19th CENTURY KANGXI MARK GC

Time Left: 3d 7h
$78.26 with 1 bids


Chinese antique Kangxi blue and white small vase signed

Time Left: 2d 11h 32m
$78.25 with 1 bids


Impressive Chinese Porcelain Oriental Antiques Famille Verte Vases

Time Left: 1d 7h 21m
$75.66 with 39 bids


3 x Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Landscape Plate 18th C

Time Left: 10h 14m
$74.35 with 24 bids


IMPRESSIVE Chinese Antiques Oriental Paktong Pipe

Time Left: 1d 7h 15m
$74.35 with 23 bids


Marvelous Antique Chinese Cloisonné Vase With Fine Details NO RESERVE!! $9.99

Time Left: 1d 20h 48m
$74.00 with 12 bids


STUNNING LARGE 35CM/13.7" Chinese Antique Porcelain Oriental Grey Glazed Vase

Time Left: 7h 13m
$73.05 with 24 bids


Lot 44:Chinese Antique Porcelain Jar with cover,republican period.

Time Left: 21h 41m
$69.00 with 3 bids


Chinese Ming Blue And Copper Bowl

Time Left: 2d 14h 22m
$69.00 with 1 bids


Chinese Antique Late 19th Century Vase

Time Left: 2d 16h 46m
$69.00 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 10h 22m
$66.52 with 23 bids


4 X VINTAGE CHINESE HAND CARVED CINNABAR LACQUER VASES.

Time Left: 1d 10h
$65.22 with 6 bids


Antique 19th Chinese Kangxi Marked Blue & White Prunus Blossom Vase

Time Left: 6d 11h 7m
$65.21 with 1 bids


Very Fine Pair Of Chinese Canton Famille Rose Lobed Vases Daoguang circa 1830

Time Left: 7d 14h 44m
$65.21 with 1 bids


Lot 48: Chinese Antique Famille Rose Vase, 1910-1930

Time Left: 21h 43m
$61.00 with 9 bids


V-Fine Chinese 19thC Porcelain Oriental Antiques Blue White Vases

Time Left: 1d 7h 19m
$60.00 with 27 bids


Antique Chinese Famille Verte Vase - with damage

Time Left: 5d 12h 14m
$58.70 with 1 bids


Old Chinese Antique Kangxi Period Porcelain Vase Marked Asian China Qing

Time Left: 6d 21h 17m
$57.00 with 13 bids


Antique Chinese Turquoise Monochrome Vase With Crackle - Nineteenth Century

Time Left: 14h 28m
$56.09 with 16 bids


MIXED LOT OF CHINESE SILVER HINDU INDIAN BRONZE TIBETAN LAMPS STATUES

Time Left: 1d 9h 26m
$56.09 with 18 bids


FINE QUALITY CHINESE PORCELAIN BLUE & WHITE SMALL VASE KANGXI STYLE CIRCLE MARK

Time Left: 3d 8h 29m
$56.09 with 5 bids


19th C. Chinese Cloisonné Enameled Wine Pot

Time Left: 9h 2m
$56.00 with 2 bids


Hall Marked! STUNNING Chinese Antiques Oriental Pewter Paktong Coffee Pot

Time Left: 1d 7h 7m
$53.48 with 11 bids