An English family's old bedroom lamp turned out to be worth a small fortune, with a Sotheby valuation placing its worth at over $500,000.
The Chinese vase dates from the 18th century Qianlong period and is delicately decorated with peony and chrysanthemum branches. The owners bought it in the 1970s for a small sum, but a valuation found the porcelain vase worth more than 100 times the amount they paid- valued at 3.1 million yuan ($506,070).
Stephen Loakes, Sotheby’s Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Specialist, said "though fully conscious of its beauty – the family were careful to preserve the piece in pristine condition – the family were not at all aware of its market value. When they bought the work in London many years ago, the market for famille-rose pieces like this was more limited. Now, with the rapid expansion of the Chinese market, the value of the piece is approximately 100 times the original purchase price.”
The vase carries a pre-sale estimate of 2,111,762 - 3,167,643 yuan ($337,380 - 506,070), and will headline in Sotheby's Chinese artefacts auction, to be held in London on May 14.
Last month, a new record was set for price paid for Chinese porcelain, with a Shanghai business man buying a tiny "chicken cup" for 224 miilion yuan ($36 million).
[Image via Telegraph]