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)

EXCEPTIONAL CHINESE BLUE WHITE SCENIC FISH BOWL PLANTER VASE QIANLONG JIAQING

Time Left: 51m 5s
$2,256.00 with 43 bids


LARGE PAIR c1800 CHINESE JIAQING FAMILLE ROSE IMPERIAL FIGURES SCENIC VASE LAMPS

Time Left: 49m 5s
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EXCEPTIONAL ANTIQUE CHINESE QING ROSEWOOD SILVER WIRE FIGURAL BUDDHA DINNER BELL

Time Left: 2h 49m
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Chinese Antique Vintage Large Porcelain Garden Seat Qing Dynasty 19th C. no Vase

Time Left: 5h 17m
$999.99 with 1 bids


SUPERB CHINESE PALE CLARE DE LUNE GUAN GLAZE PORCELAIN CRACKLE VASE QING DYNASTY

Time Left: 13h 42m
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Old Chinese Qing Family Rose Porcelain Zitan/Rosewood Table Screens Asian China

Time Left: 1h 35m
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Chinese Estate Old House Antique Qing White Jade Carved Ruyi Handle Asian China

Time Left: 2d 2h 16m
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Chinese Old 17th Yongzhen Porcelain Su Zitan/Huanghuali Table Screen Asian China

Time Left: 1h 46m
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From Estate Chinese Old Qianlong Peking Glass Incense Burner Antique Asian China

Time Left: 1h 42m
$648.00 with 15 bids


VERY FINE c1730 CHINESE YONGZHENG CANTON FAMILLE ROSE ENAMEL WINE POT TEAPOT

Time Left: 2h 48m
$565.00 with 17 bids


chinese antique porcelain Vase kangxi Qing China Asian

Time Left: 1d 1h 51m
$515.00 with 15 bids


GREAT c1840 CHINESE DAOGUANG FAMILLE ROSE IMPERIAL FIGURES VASE GREAT HANDLES

Time Left: 2h 41m
$500.00 with 29 bids


ANTIQUE CHINESE RED BLUE FLAMBE & CRACKLE GLAZE PORCELAIN VASE

Time Left: 2h 28m
$455.00 with 15 bids


FINE c1880 CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE PRECIOUS OBJECT PARROT BIRD SCENIC PLANTER VASE

Time Left: 53m 5s
$450.00 with 23 bids


Estate Old House Chinese Antique Qing Qianlong Enamel 2xVases Marked Asian China

Time Left: 1d 1h 38m
$450.00 with 33 bids


A Pair Excellent 19th C Chinese Famille Rose Plates.

Time Left: 1d 22h 37m
$450.00 with 1 bids


CHINESE CLOISONNE BLUE VASE, LATE 19TH– EARLY 20TH C

Time Left: 6d 13m
$450.00 with 1 bids


chinese antique porcelain Bowl Chenghua Mark Ming China Asian

Time Left: 1d 2h 17m
$425.00 with 33 bids


OLD CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE PORCELAIN VASE YONGZHENG MARKED 38CM (L1025)

Time Left: 2d 14h 53m
$399.99 with 1 bids


Rare GRISAILLE Chinese porcelain vase ARTIST sign with birds QUALITY

Time Left: 11h 46m
$373.00 with 11 bids


Antique Chinese Porcelain Flask Vase Qing Dynasty Qianlong 6 Character Mark

Time Left: 6d 17h 4m
$356.57 with 13 bids


Nice Lot Of 13 Antique Chinese Carved Wooden Display Stands, Some Japanese

Time Left: 38m 55s
$330.00 with 16 bids


Estate Old Chinese Dragon Celadon Glazed Qianlong Period 2x Vases Asian China

Time Left: 1d 2h 49m
$330.00 with 32 bids


From Old Estate Chinese Daoguang Blue/White Big 5xDragons Zun Vase Asian China

Time Left: 3d 2h 32m
$330.00 with 30 bids


19 centruy Large Chinese Vase

Time Left: 56m 42s
$305.00 with 52 bids


SUPERBLY CARVED ANTIQUE SOUTH EAST ASIAN INDIAN ROSEWOOD DRAGON MONKEY CARVING

Time Left: 2h 2m
$305.00 with 35 bids


ANTIQUE SIGNED CHINESE GUANGXU PORCELAIN LIDDED JAR SUGAR SALT CELLAR ART #2 of2

Time Left: 13h 26m
$299.99 with 1 bids


PR CHINESE CINNABAR BRASS ENAMEL VASES FROM THE ESTATE OF RED SKELTON

Time Left: 6d 42m
$295.00 with 1 bids


Antique Chinese Porcelain Vase Garniture Set 19th C. Blue White Dragons No Bowl

Time Left: 1h 12m
$255.00 with 19 bids


SUPERB QUALITY c1780 CHINESE QIANLONG FAMILLE ROSE IMPERIAL FIGURES MEIPING VASE

Time Left: 2h 42m
$255.00 with 29 bids


FINE & RARE 18THC CHINESE QIANLONG EXPORT AMERICAN MARKET SCENIC MEIPING VASE

Time Left: 2h 43m
$255.00 with 17 bids


Chinese Estate Old House Antique Ming Huge Big Jade Libation Cup Asian China

Time Left: 2d 2h 10m
$251.50 with 20 bids


CHINESE 19TH CENTURY BRONZE CENSER INCENSE BURNER SILVER INLAY SHI SHOU MARK

Time Left: 13h 43m
$220.31 with 29 bids


Chinese porcelain hat stand. Qianjiang cai. Wang You Tang, 汪友棠, 1893, 葵巳年

Time Left: 5d 15h 4m
$217.50 with 5 bids


A Vintage Pair of Chinese Porcelain enamelled Vases with Poems & script.

Time Left: 11h 2m
$203.75 with 3 bids


Kangxi 18th Century Blue and White Jar Chinese Porcelain Antique

Time Left: 3d 10h 50m
$203.75 with 32 bids


V. FINE ANTIQUE CHINESE JAPANESE BRONZED FIGURAL DRAGONS DESK TABLE PHOTO FRAME

Time Left: 1h 2m
$202.50 with 15 bids


IMPORTANT CHINESE TL TESTED YONGZHENG MARK AND PERIOD VASE

Time Left: 2d 5h 16m
$199.00 with 1 bids


Large Chinese porcelain ovoid jar, Republic period

Time Left: 5d 15h 6m
$198.00 with 1 bids


RARE OLD LARGE CHINESE COPPER VASE WITH DOUBLE DRAGONS 39CM (660)

Time Left: 2d 15h 12m
$169.99 with 1 bids


30CM Fine Large Antique Chinese Bronze or Copper Pot With Lid

Time Left: 16h 23m
$166.00 with 2 bids


19 Centruy Blue Chinese Vase

Time Left: 59m 13s
$163.50 with 7 bids


ANTIQUE CHINESE CINNABAR VASE/LAMP BASE - 14 1/4 INCHES TALL

Time Left: 14m 58s
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Daoguang or Guangxu Period Bottle Vase Shen De Tang Zhi Mark Beautiful

Time Left: 3d 10h 32m
$155.36 with 17 bids


CHINESE QING DYNASTY BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN JAR VASE IMMORTAL DOUBLE RING MARK

Time Left: 13h 40m
$154.09 with 34 bids


Antique Chinese Brass Mounted Dragon Ormolu Rose Medallion Porcelain Vase Lamp

Time Left: 5d 14h 8m
$150.50 with 23 bids


ANTIQUE CHINESE FAMILLE VERTE PORCELAIN PLANTER BOX LATE 18/19TH CENTURY???

Time Left: 20h 41m
$145.50 with 9 bids


Pair Antique Chinese Landscape Porcelain Painted Character Seal Jardiniere Pots

Time Left: 2d 14h 42m
$142.50 with 12 bids


Antique Chinese 17th / 18th Century Ming or Early Qing Bronze Vase Beast Handles

Time Left: 2d 18h 36m
$137.53 with 42 bids


SUPERBLY CARVED CHINESE LONGQUAN CELADON GLAZED PEONY ELEPHANT HANDLED VASE

Time Left: 2h 45m
$135.00 with 32 bids


Chinese porcelain teapot QIANJIANG color Artist sign famille rose vase

Time Left: 11h 20m
$135.00 with 5 bids


Estate Old Chinese 18th Imperial Daoguang Porcelain Plate it Marked Asian China

Time Left: 1d 2h 26m
$131.50 with 29 bids


AN ANTIQUE CHINESE YELLOW GROUND FAMILLE ROSE NINE PEACH BOWL,GUANGXU MK & PD

Time Left: 3d 8m
$130.50 with 24 bids


A GOOD CHINESE 19TH C KANGXI STYLE POWDER BLUE FIGURES GARLIC NECK VASE

Time Left: 13h 13m
$128.62 with 26 bids


Antique Chinese Blue And White “Bo Gu” Jar.

Time Left: 7d 13h 37m
$127.50 with 30 bids


LARGE 19THC CHINESE SANCAI & ROYAL BLUE GLAZED DRAGON & PHOENIX CARVED VASE

Time Left: 2h 44m
$126.00 with 16 bids


A Chinese 20th C Famille Rose Porcelain Vase. Signed.

Time Left: 9d 2h 26m
$125.00 with 4 bids


Chinese Estate Old House Antique Ming Jade Carved Document Box Asian China

Time Left: 2d 2h 7m
$122.50 with 27 bids


Estate Old Chinese 17th Imperial Qianlong Porcelain Plate it Marked Asian China

Time Left: 1d 2h 30m
$118.50 with 31 bids


From Old Estate Antique Chinese Yuan Double Carved Jade Pedent Asian China

Time Left: 1h 56m
$113.50 with 21 bids


ANTIQUE BLUE OVERLAY /WHITE PEEKING GLASS TEXTURED & DRAGONFLY & FLORAL VASE SET

Time Left: 29s
$109.99 with 1 bids


Republic period hat stand

Time Left: 5d 15h 5m
$107.50 with 5 bids


A FINE ANTIQUE JAPANESE/CHINESE SHIBAYAMA SILK FAN W FLOWERS & INSECTS

Time Left: 3d 6m
$103.50 with 7 bids


Beautiful Chinese Porcelain Nine Peach Vase 20C Four Character Mark

Time Left: 2h 48m
$102.50 with 4 bids


VERY FINE CHINESE PORCELAIN VASE FIGURES ON GARDEN RED MARK. CHINA 20C REPUBLIC

Time Left: 4h 57m
$100.00 with 2 bids


Pair Blue Chrysanthemum Porcelain Candlestick Lamps Hollywood Regency Asian Vtg

Time Left: 1d 23h 17m
$100.00 with 2 bids


Antique Oriental Vase

Time Left: 9d 13h 41m
$100.00 with 1 bids


ANTIQUE MING or QING BLACK SPECKLED WHITE, GREY, and RUSSET ARCHAIC JADE CUP

Time Left: 2d 1h 38m
$97.00 with 3 bids


Large 24" Antique Chinese Famille Rose Mandarin Vase~19th~Porcelain~Qing~Canton

Time Left: 5d 22h 57m
$96.00 with 18 bids


Estate Certificate Chinese Antique Qing Kangxi Langyao Red Vase Asian China

Time Left: 1d 2h 43m
$95.00 with 41 bids


Old House Chinese Ming Bronze Incense Burner With Stand it Marked Asian China

Time Left: 2d 2h 37m
$89.00 with 15 bids


MUSEUM HIGH QUALITY CHINESE 17TH C KANGXI FAMILLE NOIRE SQUARE TAPERING VASE M&P

Time Left: 5d 18h 30m
$85.32 with 30 bids


From Old Estate Antique Chinese Ming 2X Carved Jade Bird Pedent Asian China

Time Left: 1d 3h 13m
$81.00 with 4 bids


From Old Estate Antique Chinese Ming 2X Carved Jade Bird Pedents Asian China

Time Left: 1d 3h 22m
$81.00 with 16 bids


Vintage Signed Cloisonne Black Dragon Vase

Time Left: 1h 10m
$80.00 with 1 bids


A Glazed Blue And White Porcelain Vase.

Time Left: 14h 17m
$79.00 with 18 bids


GOOD EARLY CHINESE ANTIQUE BEAUTIFUL ARROW VASE BLUE WHITE DECORATION STUNNING

Time Left: 5d 17h 7m
$78.95 with 26 bids


VFINE ANTIQUE CHINESE STERLING SILVER DRAGON FIGURE PARASOL HANDLE POINTER STICK

Time Left: 1h 41m
$72.00 with 17 bids


MUSEUM HIGH QUALITY CHINESE 17TH C KANGXI QING DYNASTY WARRIOR VASE B&W M&P RARE

Time Left: 5d 18h 24m
$71.31 with 24 bids


Antique Chinese Black Ware Dragon Vase Song Dynasty

Time Left: 2d 19h 27m
$70.04 with 5 bids


Estate Old House Chinese Antique Qing Yongzhen Ox blood Red Vase Asian China

Time Left: 2d 2h 19m
$66.00 with 29 bids


From Old Estate Chinese Qianlong Gray Porcelain 2x Bowls It Marked Asian China

Time Left: 2d 2h 52m
$65.00 with 25 bids


Chinese Old 20th Family Rose Glazed Flower 2X Pots Marked Asian China

Time Left: 2d 2h 46m
$62.00 with 24 bids


From Old Estate Antique Chinese Ming or Yuan Carved Jade Pedents Asian China

Time Left: 3d 2h 7m
$61.00 with 17 bids


Estate Old House Chinese Antique Qing Qianlong enamel 2XVases Marked Asian China

Time Left: 1h 50m
$60.00 with 22 bids


A fine Chinese antique porcelain blue and white baluster lidded vase

Time Left: 1d 12h 3m
$56.87 with 9 bids


From Old Estate Chinese Qing White Jade Carved Yulan Flower Mirror Asian China

Time Left: 1d 2h 53m
$56.00 with 13 bids


Vintage China Chinese Porcelain Enamel Hexagon Vase 17 3/8" with many scenes

Time Left: 1d 20h 54m
$56.00 with 3 bids


From Old Estate Chinese Ming Doucai Glazed Porcelain Cup It Marked Asian China

Time Left: 2d 2h 24m
$56.00 with 6 bids


Antique 19th Century Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Peony Rock Jar

Time Left: 7d 23h 40m
$56.00 with 2 bids


antique Chinese blue and white porcelain Jar Qing dynasty

Time Left: 2d 15h 24m
$55.00 with 4 bids


MUSEUM HIGH QUALITY 19TH C CHINESE GUANGXU PERIOD CLOISONNE DRAGON PEARL VASES

Time Left: 18h 16m
$54.76 with 25 bids


Antique Chinese Porcelain Bowl Large Asian Dish Birds Scenic Butterflies Gilt

Time Left: 2d 17h 26m
$54.00 with 1 bids


lARGE ANTIQUE 18th / 19thC CHINESE PORCELAIN FAMILLE ROSE VASE QING ~MINT~

Time Left: 8d 57m
$54.00 with 21 bids


lARGE ANTIQUE 18th / 19thC CHINESE PORCELAIN FAMILLE ROSE VASE "ROOSTERS" QING

Time Left: 9d 34m
$54.00 with 13 bids


China Trade Qing Republican Qianjiang Foo Lion Pekingese Dog Vase Brush Pot yqz

Time Left: 3d 50m
$53.00 with 30 bids


Qing Porcelain Blue White Kitchen Storage China Trade Export Vase Ginger Jar yqz

Time Left: 6d 50m
$52.00 with 7 bids


Antique Chinese Famille Verte Porcelain Vase Marked Kangxi Period

Time Left: 3d 15h 29m
$51.00 with 2 bids


Very Large Fine Old Chinese Bronze Made Pot Vase Statue BEAST HEAD STYLE W/ COVE

Time Left: 4d 2h 3m
$51.00 with 9 bids


ANTIQUE PAIR CHINESE CRACKLE GLAZE VASES / WARRIORS / BATTLE SCENE

Time Left: 2d 16h 17m
$50.94 with 1 bids