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.


Antique Blue and white porcelain jar pagoda in ancient China

Watchers: 146
Buy It Now: $16.98
Time Left:
9d 23h 8m


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

Watchers: 126
Buy It Now: $68.99
Time Left:
2d 12h 25m


19th C ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN FAMILLE ROSE BLUE AND WHITE BRONZE VASES PLAQUE

Watchers: 120
Bid Price: $147.50
Time Left:
2d 1h 18m


SUPERB CHINESE FAMILLE VERTE PORCELAIN VASE FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE 19TH CENTURY

Watchers: 111
Bid Price: $1,058.78
Time Left:
8h 51m


Lg Antique Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Clare de Lune Hexagonal Vase HONGXIAN

Watchers: 108
Bid Price: $144.61
Time Left:
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FINE Antique Chinese Blue and White Figures Prunus Tulip Bottle Vase 19th C QING

Watchers: 107
Bid Price: $349.92
Time Left:
4d 13h 54m


LARGE Antique Chinese Porcelain Slip White Blue Dragon Vase & Lid Cover 19th C

Watchers: 101
Bid Price: $316.34
Time Left:
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Vintage Asian Antique Chinese Vase With Unique Mark On Bottom!

Watchers: 100
Buy It Now: $140.00
Time Left:
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LARGE Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Vase Jar & Cover & Wooden Stand KANGXI

Watchers: 94
Bid Price: $183.35
Time Left:
4d 13h 38m


Antique Chinese Straits Porcelain Famille Rose Moonflask Dragon Vase DaYaZhai

Watchers: 92
Bid Price: $258.24
Time Left:
4d 13h 52m


Old Chinese Antique White Big Jade with Yellow Skin Bronze Box Asian China Qing

Watchers: 89
Bid Price: $455.00
Time Left:
4d 2h 3m


SUPERB HUGE 18/19th C CHINESE WUCAI VASE 42cm 16.5" KYLIN AND PHOENIX

Watchers: 88
Bid Price: $300.85
Time Left:
1d 12h 58m


Antique Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Wu Shuang Pu Vase Chilong Dragon 19th C

Watchers: 87
Bid Price: $173.02
Time Left:
4d 12h 44m


FINE! LARGE Antique Chinese Porcelain Famille Verte Wucai Vase & Lid 19th C

Watchers: 85
Bid Price: $331.84
Time Left:
4d 12h 51m


FINE! Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Blaster Gilt Vase Qianlong 18th C

Watchers: 83
Bid Price: $264.70
Time Left:
4d 13h 19m


V-Fine Chinese 19thC Antiques Oriental Porcelain Famille Rose Tea Bowl

Watchers: 81
Bid Price: $67.14
Time Left:
4d 11h 40m


Large Antique Chinese Champleve Enamel Bronze Figural Water Buffalo Urn Vase

Watchers: 80
Bid Price: $325.00
Time Left:
2d 22h 37m


Antique Chinese Porcelain Clare de Lune Tian Qiu Ping Dragon Vase YONGZHENG 19 C

Watchers: 79
Bid Price: $335.71
Time Left:
4d 12h 24m


Estate Old House Chinese Antique 19th Qing White Jade Flower Vase Asian China

Watchers: 74
Bid Price: $102.50
Time Left:
1h 55m


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

Watchers: 73
Buy It Now: $2450.00
Time Left:
4d 23m


Old Chinese Antique White Big Jade with Yellow Skin Zitan Head Asian China Qing

Watchers: 69
Bid Price: $182.50
Time Left:
5d 2h 12m


CHINESE 19TH CENTURY PORCELAIN VASE KANGXI MARK DECORATED BIRD IN LANDSCAPE

Watchers: 64
Bid Price: $147.20
Time Left:
8h 47m


RARE Antique CHINESE Famille Rose Porcelain SMALL SCROLL Pots HANZHI SCRIPT

Watchers: 64
Bid Price: $107.50
Time Left:
2d 19h 49m


Large Antique Chinese Blue and White Famille Rose Porcelain Mug Qianlong 18th C

Watchers: 63
Bid Price: $213.05
Time Left:
4d 12h 17m


Antique Chinese Blue White Porcelain Moon Flask Vase Qianlong mark

Watchers: 62
Buy It Now: $6908.88
Time Left:
3d 49m


VERY BEAUTIFUL CHINESE YUAN MING STYLE DRAGON & PHOENIX DESIGN VASE - VERY RARE

Watchers: 61
Bid Price: $324.09
Time Left:
1d 23h 34m


16th Century Chinese Longquan Celadon Glaze Incised Porcelain Vase

Watchers: 60
Buy It Now: $2000.00
Time Left:
2d 2h 7m


LARGE Antique Chinese Porcelain Blue and White Tureen Pot Bowl & Cover 18th C

Watchers: 60
Bid Price: $72.31
Time Left:
4d 13h


18thC Antique CHINESE PORCELAIN PLANTER FISH BOWL JARDINIERE Famille Verte vase

Watchers: 57
Bid Price: $34.00
Time Left:
1d 5m


Antique Chinese Blue and White Dragon Yenyen Phoenix Tail Vase KANGXI 19th C

Watchers: 55
Bid Price: $131.70
Time Left:
4d 12h 58m


LARGE Antique Chinese Blue and White Crackle Glazed Moulded Vase Marked 19th C

Watchers: 52
Bid Price: $123.96
Time Left:
4d 13h 8m


18th/19th C. Chinese Pair Gilt Powder Blue Ground Famille-rose Vases

Watchers: 51
Bid Price: $234.50
Time Left:
4d 14h 5m


Chinese Estate Old House Antique 16th White W/Yellow skin Peach Jade Asian China

Watchers: 50
Bid Price: $202.52
Time Left:
2h 48m


Large Antique Chinese Blur And White Moon Flask Vase 55.5cm

Watchers: 49
Bid Price: $73.60
Time Left:
1d 18h 30m


FINE KANGXI 1662 - 1722 CHINESE 4 CHARACTER MARKS BLUE & WHITE FIGURES SM VASE

Watchers: 49
Bid Price: $32.28
Time Left:
5d 15h 15m


Estate Old House Republic Period Beautiful Washer Pot Signed Marked Asian China

Watchers: 48
Bid Price: $176.50
Time Left:
1h 56m


Impressive 20CM Chinese Kangxi Marked Antique Porcelain Oriental Blue White Bowl

Watchers: 47
Bid Price: $223.38
Time Left:
4d 11h 27m


Antique Chinese Porcelain Vase Blue and White Dragon 19th Century Qing 36cm

Watchers: 46
Bid Price: $157.53
Time Left:
1d 13h 33m


Old Estate House Chinese Qing Qianlong Porcelain Oxblood Washer Pot Asian China

Watchers: 46
Bid Price: $315.00
Time Left:
1d 2h 13m


Large Antique Export Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Mug Qianlong 18th C

Watchers: 46
Bid Price: $40.03
Time Left:
4d 12h 56m


A Perfect Superb 19th Century Chinese Qing Dynasty Famille Verte Porcelain Bowl

Watchers: 46
Buy It Now: $4519.20
Time Left:
13d 15h 13m


RARE BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN FLOWER VASE OF CHINESE ANTIQUE

Watchers: 46
Buy It Now: $18.00
Time Left:
16d 11h 17m


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

Watchers: 46
Buy It Now: $16500.00
Time Left:
6d 22h 35m


Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Vase Ginger Jar Cover KANGXI Mark 19thC

Watchers: 45
Bid Price: $43.90
Time Left:
4d 13h 24m


LARGE Antique Chinese Blue and White Flower Dragon Rouleau Vase KANGXI 19th C

Watchers: 44
Bid Price: $161.40
Time Left:
4d 13h 48m


18th C. QianLong Chinese Pair Mandarin Covered Vases

Watchers: 44
Buy It Now: $9500.00
Time Left:
15d 18h 26m


Antique Chinese Canton Porcelain Famille Rose Mandarin Vase Gilt Chilong 19th C

Watchers: 44
Bid Price: $55.52
Time Left:
4d 13h 28m


chinese antique porcelain Pair Vase Wing China Asian

Watchers: 44
Bid Price: $202.50
Time Left:
2d 1h 27m


Impressive Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Vase Dish Oriental Antiques

Watchers: 43
Bid Price: $36.15
Time Left:
4d 11h 15m


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

Watchers: 43
Bid Price: $18.72
Time Left:
4d 12h 49m