Chinese vase discovered in shoebox sells for $25 million

Chinese vase found in shoebox sells for £14m

The vase, which was in flawless condition, "is the only known example in the world bearing such detail", said Valmier.

On Tuesday, the 18th Century Qing Dynasty vase sold at a Paris auction for €16.2 million - more than 20 times its estimate and the highest price reached for a single item sold by Sotheby's in France.

Experts at the Sotheby's auction house said that the porcelain vase was made for the Qing dynasty Qianlong Emperor and was originally expected to sell for only around $600,000.

Henry Howard-Sneyd, Sotheby's chairman of Asian Art, Europe and Americas, said: 'Chinese art has been admired and collected across Europe for centuries, but the importance of certain pieces is occasionally lost over time.

The vase, which was in flawless condition, "is the only known example in the world bearing such detail", he added.

The antique was discovered by chance in a French family home, before being taken to Sotheby's Paris auction house in a shoebox, where it was sold after a tense 25-minute bidding war.


"We didn't like the vase too much and my grandparents didn't like it either", the owner of the piece said, Channel News Asia reported.

The vase achieved a record for any Chinese porcelain sold at auction in France after it went under the hammer in Paris.

The 18th century Chinese vase had been valued at 500,000 to 700,000 euros by Sotheby's in Paris.

A centuries-old vase that was once in storage at a United States museum in Oklahoma sold at auction for NZ$24.3 million in Hong Kong earlier in the month. The collector, who has has not been named, also did the bidding himself - a rarity at this level of auction.

It was produced to mark the reign of the Qianlong Emperor and is thought to be the only known example of its kind.

Sotheby's website says that "porcelains with such elaborate and challenging designs are exceedingly rare", and that the only other vase of a similar design is now held in the Musee Guimet in Paris.

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