08 June, 2018

Chinese Vase Goes Over 20 Times its Estimate

It's happened again but this time, not 150 times over. Chinese Porcelain is becoming a huge market.

In our previous article 'Chinese vase goes 150 times over-estimate in shock auction sale'  check the link if you're new, we explored the rising interest in Chinese vases made during the Qianlong era after one sold in auction for over $250,000. This happened to be 150 times over its pre-auction sale estimate.

One of the reasons behind the record hammer price was the revelation that it was commisioned by the Qing Court who intended to use the vase for ceremonial purposes in palaces and temples.

Discovered in a French Attic

As far as auction stories go, this one is remarkable. 

It all started when the vase was discovered in a French attic and an eagle-eyed individual spotted the marks of the Qianlong Emperor (1736-1795). It was taken to be valued when it was verified as a vase that dates back to the Qianlong era.

Even though more Qianlong vases are becoming more frequent in auctions, what sets this vase apart is its decoration which is one of a kind - 'Yangcai’ Famille-rose porcelain.

Trivia - This is a new record set for Chinese porcelain sold at auction in France.

The Vase

The vase was produced by the Jingdezhen workshops in response to a request from the Qianlong court. The vase was eventually left to the grandparents of the vendor.

The term ‘Yangcai’ means ‘foreign colours’ and it's used to describe the glazing of the vase. It was not uncommon for the decoration of vases from this period to contain western-styled colours and either made in pairs or unique to themselves.

The body of the vase contains references to health and longevity through the use of animals, trees and cranes.

Trivia - During the auction, a huge bidder erupted for around 20 minutes which enabled the vase to sail past its estimate of €700k.

Final Words

It's not uncommon for vases of this nature to be made in pairs. Despite the on-going murmurs surrounding its plausibility, this vase remains as being a completely unique and now the record holder for the most expensive Chinese porcelain vase bought in a French auction.

As our attention turns to the badly-named sequel 'Hunt for the second Yangcai' ensues, raid your attics, scour your mantlepieces and turn your garages upside down and see what you could potentially find.

If you are interested in the world of antiques then take a look at our article '10 Tips for making money from antiques' which you can read here.

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