A pandemic-closure-inspired garage cleaning was life-changing for a 51-year-old semi-retired construction worker in Britain. He is now about to receive nearly a half million dollars — $497,723 — for what he thought was a 6-inch-high, yellow teapot he found in a box in his garage that he remembered having been displayed in his mother’s china cabinet. It is actually an 18th-century, Beijing-enameled imperial Chinese wine ewer from the Qianlong period (1735-99). The owner originally had planned to donate all the garage boxes to charity, but he had time on his hands because of the pandemic and started going through them instead. Two almost identical teapots, both with Qianlong reign marks, are in the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan, and the Palace Museum in Beijing, China. “We believe it was brought back to England by my grandfather who was stationed in the Far East during the Second World War,” said the owner. Instead, he can now fully retire. “We’ll be going for a drink tonight and toasting grandad. I might even buy that metal detector I’ve always wanted,” he said after the Sept. 24 sale. The sale attracted bidders from around the world, including China and America. It was bought by a London buyer.
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