Ooops, it’s happened again: A rare 18th-century Chinese vase that was casually kept in a kitchen recently sold for $1.8 million at auction. Just a few months ago, a keen-eyed garage sale shopper found a 400-year-old Chinese vase worth nearly $20,000. First, these stories make us peer especially closely at the shelves of vases every time we go to a thrift store. It also makes us wonder how many more valuable vases are out there.
In this case, the English seller had inherited the 24-inch-high, blue and gilt vase from his father, a surgeon, who bought it in the 1980s for a few hundred pounds. The porcelain vase is from the Qianlong era (1736-1795). It was spotted by an expert who was visiting the homeowner. Bidding came from China, Hong Kong, the U.S. and the UK.