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)

V.FINE ANTIQUE CHINESE GOLD GILT BRONZE DRAGON FIGURAL CENSER BOWL MARKED STAND

Time Left: 3h 52m
$4,150.00 with 72 bids


SUPERB EARLY CHINESE TIBETAN BUDDHIST 18 BUDDHA FIGURAL THANGKA SILK PAINTING

Time Left: 4h 1m
$3,250.00 with 35 bids


A massive chinese famille rose celadon- ground " Canton" planter - 19th C

Time Left: 1d 4h 34m
$3,050.00 with 58 bids


RARE c1934 CHINESE HE XUREN EIGHT FRIENDS WINTER LANDSCAPE PORCELAIN WALL PLAQUE

Time Left: 4h 3m
$2,075.00 with 40 bids


EXTREMELY RARE EARLY CHINESE TIBETAN SMALL BRONZE YOUNG BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI FIGURE

Time Left: 3h 54m
$1,626.00 with 47 bids


SUPERB 17THC CHINESE IMPERIAL KANGXI MARK & PERIOD POWDER BLUE FLAMBE GLAZE BOWL

Time Left: 4h 9m
$1,625.00 with 54 bids


CHINESE 16TH C.MING DYNASTY 34x58'' PORTRAIT PAINTING ON SILK atr to QIAN LIZHAI

Time Left: 3d 5h 33m
$1,500.00 with 1 bids


FINE EARLY CHINESE MOUNTAIN LANSCAPE SILK SCROLL PAINTING SEAL MARKS

Time Left: 4h
$1,287.00 with 16 bids


EXCEPTIONAL PAIR CHINESE EARLY REPUBLIC FAMILLE ROSE IMPERIAL FIGURES VASES

Time Left: 3h 58m
$1,076.00 with 21 bids


LARGE17THC CHINESE KANGXI FAMILLE VERTE ENAMEL ARCHAIC PRECIOUS OBJECTS JAR VASE

Time Left: 4h 15m
$821.00 with 14 bids


Amazing Beautiful Chinese Porcelain B/W Vase-Nine Dragons-19th C.TOP!

Time Left: 2d 5h 28m
$795.00 with 20 bids


EXCEPTIONAL 18THC CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE PIERCED BASKET BOWL TRAY QIANLONG PERIOD

Time Left: 3h 59m
$684.00 with 66 bids


Beautiful Two Chinese Canton Famille Rose Porcelain Vases Bough Pots and Covers

Time Left: 2d 18h 12m
$677.10 with 32 bids


EXCEPTIONAL ANTIQUE CHINESE QING ROSEWOOD SILVER WIRE FIGURAL BUDDHA DINNER BELL

Time Left: 3h 50m
$676.00 with 18 bids


Lot of Blue and White Chinese Porcelain - Plates Vases Etc

Time Left: 4h 43m
$676.00 with 43 bids


Three Piece Lot of Old Chinese Porcelain - Teapot Vase Box Etc

Time Left: 5h
$670.00 with 37 bids


VERY FINE 18/19THC CHINESE ROBINS EGG BLUE FLAMBE GLAZED PORCELAIN LARGE VASE

Time Left: 4h 10m
$615.00 with 15 bids


FINELY CARVED CHINESE LAPIS LAZULI STONE LIDDED ENCRUSTED VASE SILVER WIRE STAND

Time Left: 4h 7m
$610.90 with 31 bids


LARGE 19THC CHINESE BLUE & WHITE SCROLLING LOTUS DOUBLE LUCK PHOENIX TAIL VASE

Time Left: 1d 4h 14m
$560.00 with 24 bids


A Beautiful Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Square Vase and Wooden Cover

Time Left: 2d 17h 57m
$537.70 with 36 bids


A Pair Excellent Chinese Qing Dynasty Double Gourd Blue and White Vases.

Time Left: 19h 49m
$450.00 with 1 bids


Lot of Three Chinese Glazed Porcelain Vases of Various Color

Time Left: 4h 50m
$445.00 with 36 bids


RICHLY GLAZED 19THC CHINESE LANGYAO RED HARE’S FUR FLAMBE GLAZED BOTTLE VASE

Time Left: 4h 12m
$431.00 with 23 bids


LARGE 17THC CHINESE KANGXI BLUE & WHITE PHOENIX BIRD LIDDED MEIPING JAR VASE

Time Left: 1d 4h 13m
$426.90 with 20 bids


FINE 19THC CHINESE QING DYNASTY BLUE WHITE DOUBLE LUCK LOTUS LIDDED JAR VASE

Time Left: 5h 1m
$406.90 with 15 bids


VRY RARE CHINESE IMPERIAL GUANGXU MARK & PERIOD YELLOW GLAZE WINE CUP DISH STAND

Time Left: 4h 18m
$401.00 with 30 bids


Beautiful Chinese Porcelain Wucai Vase-Figures-19th C.-Kangxi Mark!

Time Left: 2d 5h 14m
$400.00 with 13 bids


Four Piece Lot of Antique Chinese Porcelain Vases Censers Cups Etc

Time Left: 5h 4m
$395.00 with 47 bids


Large Chinese Famille Verte Porcelain Vase with Elephant Handles - 20c

Time Left: 5h 2m
$361.00 with 31 bids


VERY FINE 17THC CHINESE KANGXI BLUE WHITE SHOU CHARACTERS LIDDED JAR VASE STAND

Time Left: 4h 20m
$356.00 with 28 bids


FINE ANTIQUE CHINESE FAMILLE VERTE ROMANCE WESTERN CHAMBER FIGURAL VASE MARK 1

Time Left: 4h 16m
$349.00 with 48 bids


QIANLONG PERIOD 18 CENTURY CHINESE QING FAMILLE ROSE LARGE PORCELAIN SQUARE BOWL

Time Left: 4d 16h 3m
$338.55 with 22 bids


A Beautiful Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Vase Pot Jar

Time Left: 2d 18h 8m
$335.90 with 29 bids


V.RARE c1780 CHINESE EXPORT FAMILLE ROSE MARITIME DUTCH SHIP PUNCH BOWL QIANLONG

Time Left: 1d 3h 50m
$326.00 with 12 bids


Lot of Seven Antique Chinese Blue and White Jarlets - Ming Dynasty

Time Left: 4h 59m
$323.18 with 49 bids


Pair of Antique Chinese Hexagonal Planters with Enameled Design on Yellow Ground

Time Left: 4h 22m
$320.00 with 39 bids


VERYRARE CHINESE KANGXI FAMILLE VERTE BLACK GLAZED SQUIRREL WATER POT BRUSH REST

Time Left: 4h 21m
$317.00 with 14 bids


VERY RARE c1780 CHINESE EXPORT FAMILLE ROSE SHIP BATTLE TEAPOT QIANLONG

Time Left: 1d 3h 54m
$315.00 with 24 bids


Xuande Signed Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Vase w/Flower

Time Left: 17h 59m
$305.00 with 31 bids


VERY FINE SIGNED CHINESE KANGXI PEACHBLOOM DRAGON & SACRIFICIAL BLUE FLAMBE VASE

Time Left: 4h 13m
$288.00 with 21 bids


Vintage 20th Century Chinese Yixing Triangular Form Vase with Incised Decoration

Time Left: 12h 42m
$285.44 with 25 bids


Large Old Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Vase

Time Left: 4h 49m
$272.00 with 30 bids


Pair of Old Chinese Blue and White on Celadon Porcelain Covered Jars

Time Left: 4h 16m
$257.00 with 41 bids


Three Antique Chinese Porcelain Vases with Enameled Design of Figures and Birds

Time Left: 4h 26m
$255.00 with 27 bids


Antique Chinese Celadon Glazed Tripod Censer with Silver Cover - Ming Dynasty

Time Left: 4h 58m
$242.50 with 31 bids


Chinese Antique Vintage Large Porcelain Garden Seat Qing Dynasty 19th C. no Vase

Time Left: 5h 14m
$235.50 with 38 bids


ANTIQUE RARE CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE FISH BOWL JARDINIERE CANTON EXPORT - QING 19TH

Time Left: 18h 36m
$232.50 with 46 bids


30CM Hongzhi Signed Antique Chinese Blue Glaze Porcelain Zun Vase Pot w/Elephant

Time Left: 18h 3m
$231.50 with 11 bids


Rare Beautiful Chinese Porcelain Wucai Vase+Cover-Five Dragons-19th C.TOP!

Time Left: 2d 5h 24m
$229.50 with 8 bids


LARGE ESTATE LOT CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE BIRD FIGURAL LANDSCAPE POEM STORY VASES

Time Left: 1d 5h 5m
$226.50 with 11 bids


CHINESE 18TH CENTURY QING DYNASTY BRONZE TRIPOD CENSER XUANDE MARK HARDWOOD

Time Left: 6d 12h 56m
$225.70 with 9 bids


Beautiful and Large Antique Chinese Famille Verte Umbrella Stand

Time Left: 4h 38m
$224.50 with 32 bids


36CM Qianlong Signed Antique Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Vase w/Figures

Time Left: 17h 15m
$222.50 with 53 bids


Rare Amazing Beautiful Chinese Porcelain Doucai Tureen-Flowers-19th C.TOP!

Time Left: 2d 5h 10m
$222.00 with 6 bids


FINE OLD CHINESE GOLD GILT LACQUER DRAGON PHOENIX WALL MIRROR FRAME PLAQUE #1

Time Left: 4h 24m
$218.50 with 19 bids


Antique Chinese Ming Dynasty Celadon Glazed Jarlet Jar with Floral Design

Time Left: 4h 17m
$211.50 with 57 bids


17 centruy Pair Chinese Vase

Time Left: 4h 31m
$210.50 with 8 bids


Vintage Chinese Carved White Jade Vase Zun w/Four Sheep

Time Left: 17h 37m
$207.50 with 46 bids


ANTIQUE RARE CHINESE TEAPOT CUP TURQUOISE GLAZE VASE - QING KANGXI 17TH 18TH

Time Left: 18h 28m
$207.50 with 31 bids


Fine Chinese Porcelain Nanking Vase-Dragon/Tiger-19th C.Marked!

Time Left: 2d 4h 14m
$205.00 with 10 bids


Fine Chinese Porcelain B/W Gourd Bottle-Landscape-19th C.Kangxi Mark.

Time Left: 2d 4h 26m
$205.00 with 17 bids


FINE CHINESE CARVED JADE HARDSTONE ENCRUSTED FLORAL & BIRD FIGURE VASE w STAND

Time Left: 4h 50m
$202.50 with 16 bids


Very rare and pretty Chinese porcelain dish, famille rose glaze, decorated

Time Left: 1d 17h 56m
$202.50 with 6 bids


G9198: XF Chinese Dragon Chicken Person pattern FLOWER VASE Ikebana w/box

Time Left: 2d 5h 17m
$199.99 with 1 bids


LARGE! PAIR Antique Chinese Blue and White Vase & Cover KANGXI 19th C CHRISTIE'S

Time Left: 5d 16h 25m
$197.82 with 36 bids


ANTIQUE RARE CHINESE PORCELAIN INK BOX SEAL DRAGON BLUE WHITE - QING 18TH 19TH

Time Left: 18h 24m
$197.50 with 30 bids


Beautiful Chinese Porcelain B/W Kangxi Vase&Cover With Ladies.18th C.YU Marked!

Time Left: 2d 5h 12m
$197.50 with 14 bids


19TH CENTURY PAIR ANTIQUE CHINESE CLOISONNE CRANE VASES

Time Left: 3d 16h 50m
$190.00 with 1 bids


Antique Chinese Blue & White Porcelain Pot Jar w/Landscape

Time Left: 17h 33m
$187.50 with 52 bids


Beautiful Chinese Porcelain B/W Gourd Bottle-Butterfly-19th C.Kangxi Mark.

Time Left: 2d 5h 18m
$187.50 with 16 bids


Antique Carved Green Jade Urn Vase 899.0 Grams 5 7/8" x 8 1/4" x 3 7/8"

Time Left: 2d 3h 50m
$180.50 with 36 bids


19c CHINESE QING DYNASTY BLUE & WHITE DOUBLE LUCK HAPPINESS FU LION LOTUS VASE 2

Time Left: 1d 4h 16m
$172.40 with 20 bids


FINE CHINESE REPUBLIC PERIOD HAND PAINTED FAMILLE ROSE SQAURE ANTIQUE VASE

Time Left: 2d 4h 4m
$171.50 with 23 bids


IMPRESSIVE LARGE 41cm Antique Cloisonne Gilt Dragon Censer Incense Burner 19th C

Time Left: 5d 17h 3m
$167.28 with 36 bids


Beautiful Chinese Porcelain B/W Vase-Dragons-19th C.Kangxi Mark!

Time Left: 2d 4h 42m
$165.00 with 14 bids


LARGE N BEAUTIFUL CHINESE REPUBLIC FAMILLE ROSE ANTIQUE PORCELAIN VASE

Time Left: 2d 4h 26m
$164.50 with 21 bids


FINE CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE FIGURE SUBJECT VASE

Time Left: 5d 4h 34m
$161.50 with 9 bids


Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Covered Jar with Wood Cover

Time Left: 4h 48m
$160.00 with 34 bids


PAIR CHINESE SPINACH JADE BUDDHIST BUDDHA FU LION DOG FIGURES SILVER WIRE STANDS

Time Left: 4h 8m
$158.50 with 9 bids


LARGE 19c CHINESE BAMBOO DESIGN LIDDED BLOSOMMING PRUNUS LIDDED STORAGE BOX JAR

Time Left: 1d 4h 5m
$152.50 with 20 bids


A pair of Chinese porcelain planters. Purple glaze with decoration, four-charact

Time Left: 1d 18h
$152.50 with 11 bids


E300: Chinese old copper flower vase of good quality w/appropriate relief work

Time Left: 2d 6h 20m
$152.49 with 2 bids


CHINESE BLUE AND WHITE VASE PAINTED OF DRAGONS

Time Left: 2d 18h 23m
$146.04 with 3 bids


Two Tongzhi Signed Antique Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Vase w/Figures

Time Left: 17h 31m
$142.50 with 37 bids


CHINESE BLUE AND WHITE VASE PAINTED OF WARRIORS

Time Left: 2d 18h 26m
$139.40 with 4 bids


LARGE LOT OF 6 CHINESE PORCELAIN RED FLAMBE VASES AND BOWLS

Time Left: 1d 5h 20m
$137.50 with 24 bids


PAIR Chinese Blue and White Crackle Porcelain Garlic Mouth Lion Vase 19th C QING

Time Left: 5d 16h 15m
$135.42 with 13 bids


ESTATE COLL. 5 ANTIQUE CHINESE CLOISONNE ENAMEL BRONZE DRAGON VASE SNUFF BOTTLES

Time Left: 5h 11m
$134.50 with 8 bids


FINE Antique Chinese Porcelain Powder Blue Gilding Flower Vase & Lid Mark 19th C

Time Left: 5d 16h 34m
$130.11 with 11 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 17h 53m
$129.50 with 9 bids


Beautiful Chinese Porcelain Vase-Figures-ca.1900-Qianlong Mark.

Time Left: 2d 4h 52m
$128.00 with 9 bids


ANTIQUE RARE CHINESE VASE PORCELAIN PEACH BLOOM FAMILLE ROSE - QING KANGXI 18TH

Time Left: 18h 20m
$127.50 with 21 bids


LARGE c1850 CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE ENAMEL IMPERIAL FIGURES LANDSCAPE DRAGON VASE

Time Left: 1d 4h 20m
$127.50 with 13 bids


Estate Old House Chinese Antique 17th Kangxi Porcelain plate Marked Asian China

Time Left: 1d 5h 35m
$127.50 with 15 bids


PAIR EARLY 19THC CHINESE QING BLUE WHITE SCROLLING LOTUS ALTER FACETED VASES

Time Left: 1d 4h 17m
$124.50 with 29 bids


FINE LARGE ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN PLAQUE IRON RED FRAMED MARKED WANG BU T7965

Time Left: 5d 3h 19m
$122.50 with 2 bids


RARE SET OF 4 ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN PLAQUES FAMILLE ROSE MARKED WANG QI E685

Time Left: 5d 3h 23m
$122.50 with 2 bids


FINE LARGE ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN PLAQUE FAMILLE ROSE MARKED WANG QI TV1956

Time Left: 6d 2h 37m
$119.99 with 1 bids


PAIR ANTIQUE LATE 19TH CENTURY CHINESE BLANC DE CHINE DOGS OF FO SHI SHI LIONS

Time Left: 17h 52m
$119.49 with 1 bids


FINE OLD CHINESE GOLD GILT LACQUER BIRD FIGURAL WALL MIRROR FRAME PLAQUE #3

Time Left: 4h 26m
$118.49 with 10 bids