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)

IMPORTANT 17THC CHINESE IMPERIAL KANGXI MARK & PERIOD BLUE WHITE BITONG BRUSHPOT

Time Left: 2d 9h 28m
$5,200.00 with 47 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 9h 39m
$2,432.00 with 25 bids


IMPORTANT CHINESE IMPERIAL LEAF-FORM SPOTTED BAMBOO LACQUER SCHOLARS BRUSH TRAY

Time Left: 1d 9h 37m
$2,267.00 with 13 bids


VERYEARLY CHINESE MOUNTAIN LANSCAPE SILK SCROLL PAINITNG SONG DYNASTY SOTHEBY’S

Time Left: 1d 9h 43m
$2,027.00 with 27 bids


LARGE PAIR 19THC CHINESE GUANGXU FAMILLE ROSE IMPERIAL YELLOW GARDEN SEAT VASES

Time Left: 2d 9h 38m
$1,691.00 with 22 bids


VERY FINE LONG CHINESE GRISAILLE INK LANDSCAPE SCROLL PAINTING SCRIPT SEAL MARKS

Time Left: 1d 9h 45m
$1,362.00 with 30 bids


2LARGE CHINESE HAN DYNASTY BRONZE ARCHAIC HU WINE VESSEL FANGHU VASES PROVENANCE

Time Left: 1d 9h 30m
$1,325.00 with 19 bids


ORGINAL CHINESE TREE STUDY SCROLL PAINTING BY IMPORTANT ARTIST ZENG XIAOJUN

Time Left: 1d 9h 44m
$1,325.00 with 28 bids


VERYFINE CHINESE SILK SCROLL CALLIGRAPHY LANDSCAPE PAINTING MING QING DYNASTY 3

Time Left: 1d 9h 36m
$1,237.00 with 14 bids


Chinese Antique Copper Red Glaze Plate QianLong Mark

Time Left: 1d 9h 39m
$1,161.00 with 37 bids


SUPERB c1800 CHINESE JIAQING FAMILLE ROSE IMPERIAL FIGURES LANDSCAPE WALL PLAQUE

Time Left: 2d 9h 41m
$1,125.00 with 31 bids


VERYFINE CHINESE SILK SCROLL CALLIGRAPHY LANDSCAPE PAINTING MING QING DYNASTY 1

Time Left: 1d 9h 32m
$1,037.00 with 9 bids


VERYFINE CHINESE SILK SCROLL CALLIGRAPHY LANDSCAPE PAINTING MING QING DYNASTY 2

Time Left: 1d 9h 34m
$1,037.00 with 14 bids


RARE LARGE JIAJING / LATE MING YUHUCHUNGPING VASE IN WONDERFUL CONDITION

Time Left: 2d 5h 17m
$1,034.00 with 3 bids


EXRARE c1800 CHINESE JIAQING YIXING ZISHA FLAMBE SCHOLARS TRAY GE MING XIANG ZHI

Time Left: 1d 10h 18m
$990.00 with 19 bids


GREAT 17c CHINESE KANGXI BLUE WHITE TWIN BOYS LOTUS PORCELAIN JAR VASE STAND LID

Time Left: 2d 9h 34m
$872.00 with 34 bids


SUPERB 19THC CHINESE TEADUST MONOCHROME GLAZE BAMBOO FORM VASE QIANLONG MARKED

Time Left: 1d 10h 4m
$860.00 with 20 bids


RAREc1640 CHINESE BLUE WHITE BIRD BITONG BRUSHPOT TRANSITIONAL CHONGZHEN SHUNZHI

Time Left: 2d 9h 32m
$820.00 with 21 bids


AMAZING LARGE CHINESE JEWELLED GOLD GILT PEWTER EMPEROR EMPRESS FIGURES HORSES

Time Left: 1d 9h 42m
$812.00 with 15 bids


CHINESE GE GU GUAN TYPE CRACKLE GLAZED VASE

Time Left: 2h 57m
$755.00 with 17 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 9h 40m
$690.00 with 15 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN FAMILLE ROSE CANTONESE VASE FIGURES 19TH 1

Time Left: 3h 30m
$670.00 with 23 bids


19C Chinese Antique Famille Rose Porcelain Dragon Pattern Big Vase 17.25"

Time Left: 1d 9h 35m
$593.00 with 44 bids


2 BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN FAMILLE ROSE CANTONESE VASE FIGURES 19TH 4

Time Left: 2h 55m
$560.00 with 21 bids


Chinese Monochrome Blue Vase with Apocryphal Ming TianQi Mark

Time Left: 1d 1h 52m
$550.00 with 1 bids


AUTH. CHINESE ZITAN SCHOLARS KANG TABLE STOOL CENSER STAND 16/17THC MING DYNASTY

Time Left: 1d 9h 39m
$540.00 with 12 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN MIRROR BLACK BATTLE 3 KINGDOMS VASE 19TH

Time Left: 3h 54m
$530.00 with 18 bids


V.RARE CHINESE TRANSITIONAL KANGXI BLUE WHITE FIGURAL SCHOLARS BITONG BRUSH POT

Time Left: 2d 9h 30m
$530.00 with 41 bids


2 BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN BALUSTER VASE FLOWERBASKET LAN CAIHE 19TH

Time Left: 2h 52m
$510.00 with 15 bids


VERY FINE CHINESE TURQUOISE & AUBERGINE CRACKLE GLAZE DRAGON VASE YONGZHENG

Time Left: 1d 10h 5m
$510.00 with 16 bids


EXCEPTIONAL CHINESE EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI YELLOW ENAMEL IMPERIAL DRAGON VASES

Time Left: 2d 9h 42m
$510.00 with 16 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 9h 44m
$510.00 with 17 bids


Stunning Unusual Chinese Rainbow Porcelain Huge Gourd Heavy Vase Marked

Time Left: 2d 9h 59m
$504.99 with 10 bids


19th Chinese White Peking Glass Immitate White Jade Vase

Time Left: 6d 7h 4m
$500.00 with 1 bids


Qing Dynasty Ox Blood Porcelain Hu Vase Red Flame Sang DE Beouf 1800s

Time Left: 6d 4h 49m
$495.00 with 1 bids


AMAZING LARGE CHINESE MING DYNASTY BRONZE BUDDHIST FU LION FIGURE CENSER VASE

Time Left: 1d 9h 28m
$475.00 with 19 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN GE-TYPE CRACKLE GLAZE VASE 3 KINDOMS 19TH

Time Left: 3h 48m
$465.00 with 8 bids


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

Time Left: 23h 44m
$427.19 with 35 bids


LARGE Antique Chinese Blue and White Dragon Temple Vase & Wooden Stand c1800

Time Left: 8d 22h 20m
$427.19 with 20 bids


GOOD LARGE 24" 19TH C CHINESE PORCELAIN CANTON FAMILLE ROSE FIGURES VASE

Time Left: 23h 49m
$425.90 with 29 bids


FINELY DETAILED CHINESE TIBETAN BRONZE MULTI-ARM BUDDHA FIGURE LOTUS BASE

Time Left: 1d 10h 7m
$405.00 with 16 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN SQUARE VASE PROC PERIOD FIGURES

Time Left: 4h 13m
$390.00 with 11 bids


LARGE17THC CHINESE KANGXI FAMILLE VERTE ENAMEL ARCHAIC PRECIOUS OBJECTS JAR VASE

Time Left: 2d 9h 37m
$385.00 with 15 bids


PAIR SUPERBc1800 CHINESE JIAQING FAMILLE ROSE & GRISAILLE ENAMEL FIGURAL PLATES

Time Left: 2d 9h 47m
$355.00 with 18 bids


VERY FINELY DETAILED EARLY INDIAN THAI BRONZE BUDDHIST DEITY FIGURE

Time Left: 1d 10h 8m
$327.00 with 7 bids


FINE 19TH C CHINESE WU SHUANG PU FIGURES CALLIGRAPHY OBLONG JAR - CIRCLE MARK

Time Left: 23h 7m
$326.52 with 27 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN CRACKLE GLAZE VASE BATTLE 3 KINDOMS 19TH

Time Left: 3h 27m
$325.00 with 7 bids


VERY RARE 18THC CHINESE QIANLONG FAMILLE ROSE BLUE GOLD CRACKED ICE PLANTER VASE

Time Left: 2d 9h 45m
$325.00 with 19 bids


VERY FINE AND LONG CHINESE MULTI-LANDSCAPE SILK SCROLL PAINTING ARTIST MARKS BOX

Time Left: 1d 9h 49m
$317.00 with 9 bids


VERY RARE INDIAN BRONZE MALABAR COAST DEITY SOLDIER FIGURE J.MITTAL HYDERABAD

Time Left: 1d 10h 9m
$317.00 with 5 bids


IMPRESSIVE LARGE JAPANESE GOLD COBALT BLUE DAI NIPPON SATSUMA BIRD SCENIC VASE

Time Left: 1d 10h 3m
$305.00 with 12 bids


FINE ANTIQUE 19THC CHINESE GILT BRONZE QILIN DRAGON HANDLE CENSER VASE MING MARK

Time Left: 1d 10h 6m
$269.00 with 9 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN FAMILLE ROSE JAR IMPEROR 1900

Time Left: 3h 46m
$261.00 with 16 bids


Antique Chinese Celadon Ginger Jar / Vase Late 19th Century

Time Left: 12h 53m
$260.00 with 11 bids


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

Time Left: 10h 41m
$255.00 with 15 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN QIANJIANG 100 TREASURES JAR 1900

Time Left: 4h
$239.00 with 12 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 9h 36m
$238.50 with 37 bids


ANTIQUE CHINESE YELLOW GLAZED GILT DRAGON Ca1910 VASE WITH STAND QIANLONG MARK

Time Left: 4d 9h 47m
$225.50 with 8 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN FAMILLE ROSE CANTONESE VASE FIGURES 19TH 2

Time Left: 3h 34m
$222.50 with 10 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN FAMILLE ROSE JAR FIGURES 1900

Time Left: 3h 43m
$222.50 with 9 bids


V.RARE LARGE CHINESE BLACK LACQUER BRONZE GOURD SCHOLAR BOX SONG MING DYNASTY

Time Left: 1d 9h 38m
$214.50 with 10 bids


Antique Chinese Porcelain Republic Period Planter and Undertray, Signed

Time Left: 6d 2h 7m
$212.50 with 5 bids


chinese vase set - multi color scenes - antique

Time Left: 2d 3h 9m
$205.50 with 3 bids


GREAT CHINESE CARVED ROSEWOOD RECUMBENT ELEPHANT STUDY MING EARLY QING DYNASTY

Time Left: 1d 9h 40m
$202.50 with 14 bids


FINELY CARVED CHINESE LACQUER HARDWOOD BUDDHA HOLDING PRAYER BEADS MING DYNASTY

Time Left: 1d 9h 41m
$202.50 with 15 bids


ORIGINAL CHINESE YIXING ZISHA POTTERY LUGGAGE FORM TEAPOT EXHIBITION PURCHASED

Time Left: 1d 10h 19m
$202.50 with 9 bids


ESTATE COLLECTION ANTIQUE CHINESE BLUE WHITE LANDSCAPE DRAGON VASE JAR QIANLONG

Time Left: 2d 9h 49m
$202.50 with 18 bids


TWO EXCELLENT c1920 ART DECO CHINESE YELLOW GLAZE PORCELAIN CAT FIGURES STATUES

Time Left: 2d 9h 52m
$202.50 with 18 bids


MONUMENTAL Signed 18 Inch CHINESE 19TH C. GINGER JAR, BLUE AND WHITE Vase

Time Left: 1d 1h 54m
$199.99 with 1 bids


GOOD 19TH C.CENTURY CHINESE MONOCHROME COBALT BLUE HU DEER CRACKLE VASE

Time Left: 4d 9h 36m
$183.50 with 4 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN FAMILLE ROSE JAR CHILDREN SCHOLAR 1900

Time Left: 3h 39m
$173.50 with 6 bids


Beautiful Large Chinese Guan Style Porcelain Double Crackle Glazed 19th-C Vase

Time Left: 5d 21h 35m
$171.65 with 13 bids


AUTH. c1920 CHINESE REPUBLIC IMPERIAL HONGXIAN FAMILLE ROSE BOYS LANDSCAPE PLATE

Time Left: 2d 9h 43m
$170.50 with 18 bids


NINE ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN FAMILLE ROSE VERTE FIGURES JARS

Time Left: 22h 52m
$169.07 with 16 bids


IMPRESSIVE 30CM Chinese Qianlong 1736-95 Famille Rose Plate Antiques Porcelain

Time Left: 6d 19h 50m
$165.20 with 16 bids


Chinese Porcelain Famille Verte Rouleau Vase

Time Left: 7h 51m
$163.50 with 5 bids


PAIR FINE 17c CHINESE KANGXI BLUE WHITE ENAMEL ARMORIAL PORCELAIN DINNER PLATES

Time Left: 2d 9h 46m
$157.50 with 35 bids


Beautiful Unusual Chinese Scenery Qianlong Marked Porcelain Vase

Time Left: 2d 11h 21m
$157.50 with 9 bids


Impressive LARGE Chinese Antiques Porcelain Oriental Famille Rose Pot Vase

Time Left: 6d 20h 4m
$153.58 with 33 bids


Stunning Large Chinese Famille Verte Square Vase Qing Dynasty

Time Left: 2d 10h 21m
$152.50 with 4 bids


Antique Twin Chinese White Jade Hetian Ram Horn Jar/Vase

Time Left: 3d 16h 4m
$150.00 with 1 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN QIANJIANG HAT STAND VASE CALYGRAPHY 1900

Time Left: 4h 4m
$148.50 with 9 bids


A BEAUTIFUL antique CHINESE PORCELAIN FAMILLE ROSE CANTONESE VASE FIGURES 19TH 3

Time Left: 3h 36m
$145.50 with 7 bids


Antique Chinese Porcelain Enameled Blue Red Dragon Qing Vase 6 Character Mark

Time Left: 4d 2h 15m
$145.00 with 1 bids


ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN BLUE WHITE FIGURE FISHING LANDSCAPE BRUSH POT & STAND

Time Left: 23h 17m
$138.09 with 24 bids


Rare Old Chinese Pocelain Wucai Figure Vase Mallet Bottle Qing Dynasty C104

Time Left: 1d 19h 33m
$138.09 with 6 bids


Vintag. Chinese Carvd Malachite Coverd Vase w.Wood Stand

Time Left: 6d 7h 45m
$137.50 with 9 bids


Yixing Pottery Zisha Vase Song Bird Flowers Signed Chinese Vintage Antique

Time Left: 9h 52m
$132.50 with 6 bids


ESTATE LOT 4 c1900 CHINESE TURQUOISE GLAZE PORCELAIN SITTING SCHOLAR FIGURES N/R

Time Left: 2d 9h 55m
$132.50 with 13 bids


EIGHT ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN BLUE AND WHITE PRUNUS JARS

Time Left: 23h 12m
$131.64 with 17 bids


LARGE RARE Antique Chinese KANGXI Style Blue and White Dragon Vase 19th C

Time Left: 8d 21h 6m
$131.64 with 12 bids


Antique Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Kui Xing Vase Bitong Brush Pot 19/20th C

Time Left: 8d 21h 52m
$131.64 with 20 bids


LARGE 32cm PAIR Antique Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Dragon Vase & Cover 19C

Time Left: 8d 22h 11m
$129.06 with 41 bids


JAN078 CHINESE WHITE PORCELAIN FINE CRACK BOTTLE VASE W/WOOD STAND

Time Left: 2d 11h 51m
$129.00 with 1 bids


ESTATE COLL. 18/19THC CHINESE CANTON BLUE WHITE JAR VASE SAUCE BOAT LEAF TRAY

Time Left: 2d 9h 50m
$125.00 with 16 bids


THREE ANTIQUE CHINESE PORCELAIN WANG BING RONG TYPE MOULDED JARS & COVERS

Time Left: 23h 4m
$118.74 with 13 bids


FINE LARGE ANTIQUE CHINESE KANGXI MARKS PRUNUS LIDDED VASE

Time Left: 21h 46m
$118.44 with 12 bids


Old Chinese Antique 18th Qianlong OxBlood Red Brush Washer Pot Asian China Qing

Time Left: 10h 16m
$117.50 with 16 bids


A LARGE 18TH CENTURY CHINESE QIANLONG PERIOD FAMILLE ROSE PLATE CHARGER DISH

Time Left: 6d 21h 35m
$116.15 with 11 bids


LARGE Antique Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Dragon Panel Sleeve Vase 19th C

Time Left: 8d 21h 2m
$112.28 with 16 bids