A vase that was used as a doorstop in a family’s home for years was recently auctioned off for a jaw-dropping price when it was discovered that the vase was actually a very rare 18th century Chinese artifact.
According to the Huffington Post, a family in Birmingham, central England, used a pretty white vase with blue floral designs on it as a doorstop for 36 years. The vase, standing 26-inches tall, was given to an identified person by a great aunt in 1978.
— Hansons (@HansonsUK) July 1, 2016
That great aunt was an antique dealer and received the vase sometime around 1920. It was believed that she had received the unique vase while living in Cornwall, in southwest England.
Unbeknownst to the person who inherited the beautiful vase from the great aunt, the vase was a treasure that did not belong on the floor propping open a door. In fact, the vase was worthy of being placed in a museum.
The rare vase is believed to have been made in China during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1735-99), according to The Telegraph.
Antiques Trade Gazette describes the decoration of the vase as an “imitation of Ming ‘heaped and piled’ style but it also displays ‘Baroque’ elements pointing to the influence of European decorative arts in the art and architecture of The Summer Palace. The bulbous body has cut branches of peaches alternating with flower and lingzhi stems and all facets are framed at the corners with European-style scrollwork spandrels.”
“It is a quite spell bounding vase,” said Charles Hanson, managing director of Derbyshire auction house Hansons Auctioneers, said in a press statement. He believed it was “possibly manufactured by the Imperial kilns for the Emperor’s Summer Palace.”
Hanson also said the rare Chinese vase was in good condition, considering the circumstances, and was the auction company’s “biggest find to date.”
The vase that sat stopping a door for almost 40 years was auctioned for £650,000 (around $860,000). The vase fetched around $200,000 more during Friday’s auction than was previously estimated.
It isn’t altogether unusual for people to be holding onto treasures, unbeknownst to them, which could be worth a great sum of money. People who watch Antique Roadshow know that oftentimes seemingly ordinary furniture, paintings, or regular knick knacks can fetch a surprisingly higher appraisal price.
The likelihood of someone unknowingly holding onto something which could be life-changing might seem small, but it does happen often enough for people to rethink what they do with the old things they have collected over the years.
Hanson is optimistic that people have more rare treasures than they realize. He is especially optimistic that the people living in England may be unknowingly hiding some very valuable items.
“Our country is awash with fascinating treasures languishing in homes and sometimes such remarkable finds can be life-changing for a client.”
So have fun going through your attic, basement, and closets to find that one item that is worth more than being lost to the darkness of the house somewhere. You never know — the life-changing treasure might be sitting on the floor right in front of you holding your door in place.
[Photo by Shutterstock]