A Qianlong vase sold in a regional UK auction house was bid up to £43m which works out to £53m with fees. By far the largest value item ever sold by the auctioneers, the owners were wholly unaware of what they owned when they put it up for sale. Here’s the Telegraph on the sale:
The owners, who had no idea quite how much the vase was worth, were so shocked that they had to leave the room for a breath of fresh air.
Standing 16 inches tall and decorated with fish, the vase is thought to date from the time of Qianlong, the fourth emperor in the Qing dynasty, around 1740.
Experts said it probably once belonged to Chinese royalty but was most likely taken out of the country at the end of the Second Opium War in 1860 when the palaces were ransacked.
It is understood to have been in the vendors’ family since the 1930s.