The unusual design – a mixture of turquoise, purple and gold colors with lattice and flora details – was made for the emperor Qianlong, known as Sotheby’s, and sat for 50 years in a secluded house in central Europe.
It has somehow survived all these years, although it is surrounded by the numerous cats and dogs of the previous owner.
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“It is a miracle that this extraordinarily fragile vase has survived half a century in a house surrounded by countless pets,” said Nicolas Chow, president of Sotheby’s Asia, in a pre-sale statement.
The global auction house shared the story of the discovery of the vase on its official YouTube channel. In the video, Rosenthal describes her visit to the home of an 80-year-old woman to assess her collection.
“We reached a room with a number of Chinese works of art inherited many years ago,” he says. “His four cats were walking freely among them. She pointed to a… partially gilded Chinese vase on a cabinet – a precious object that she knew was something special and precious. “
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Sotheby’s experts were able to match the article with others in the archives of their Chinese imperial households.
Sotheby’s was also able to trace the history of the vase, discovering that it was sold for the first time by the company for $ 56 (about $ 1,500 in today’s currency) in 1954. It was sold more late that year for just over $ 100 and was passed on through a family until last week’s huge sale.
It seems that in recent years, stumbling upon old objects at great prices has become a trend.
In 2018, an 18th-century vase was found hidden in a shoebox in the attic of a French family and sold for around $ 19 million, CNN reported at the time.
Last year, a 13th century painting by Italian artist Cimabue was found in a home for elderly women in Compiègne, France. It has been valued at $ 8.7 million.
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Moral of the story: take a look at your grandparents’ basement.
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