Used as a doorstop for decades, one very rare Chinese vase was recently sold at a UK auction for almost a million dollars.
The blue and white vase, which reportedly dates as far back as Emperor Qianlong’s reign in the 1700s, was purchased for over $860,000 (£650,000) at an auction hosted by Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire on Friday, according to Telegraph.
Recovered by Hansons Auctioneers Associate Director Adrian Rathbone from an old West Midland home, the piece was reportedly inherited by the seller from a great aunt and then used as a doorstop at home for 36 years. The previous owner acquired the vase in the 1920s in Cornwall.
“On examining it, I was quite surprised at how big it was at 66 cm high,” Rathbone explained. “Painted in blue, I was particularly mesmerized by the character mark on the base of the vase.”
The vase’s decoration resembles the Ming ‘heaped and piled’ style mixed with ‘Baroque’ features. Antiques expert Charles Hanson believes that the vase was most likely made by the Imperial kilns for the Emperor’s Summer Palace.
“Of hexagonal outline, it is brilliantly painted in tones of cobalt blue. With boughs of pomegranate and peach alternating with flowering branches, it is a work of art, painted with the Qianlong mark to the base,” Hanson said. “With important Chinese porcelain once removed from China during the 19th century and being bought back by Chinese billionaires today, pedigree and provenance is so important in a market today where later copies can easily deceive the more cautious collector.”
“The manner of the vase’s decoration was inspired by artists working on porcelain in the Yongzheng period (1723-1735). The design became one of the most favored designs for all the noble Palaces in the period by his son Emperor Qianlong.”
“Our country is awash with fascinating treasures languishing in homes and sometimes such remarkable finds can be life-changing for a client,” he added.