Entertainment & Arts

Vase used as doorstop raises $1.3m at auction

Rare Chinese vase
Image caption The vase sold for more than twice its estimated value of $600,000

A rare Chinese vase, which was discovered being used as a doorstop, has sold for more than $1.3 million (£800,000) at a New York auction.

The rare blue and white moonflask had previously been owned by the same family for decades.

They had kept it on a wooden stand and used it as a doorstop in their Long Island home, before spotting a similar piece in a Sotheby's advertisement.

The vase was part of Sotheby's sale that raised nearly $27m (£16.6m).

The auction significantly exceeded pre-sale estimates of $21.6m (£13.3m) and sales were nearly 20% higher than the equivalent sale last year.

Along with the rare Ming Dynasty moonflask, other highlights included a Wucai 'fish' jar and cover which had been owned by the Walters Museum in Baltimore.

It was sold to benefit the Asian Art Acquisitions Fund and fetched nearly $2m (£1.23m).

Dr. Tao Wang, who was recently appointed head of the Chinese Works of Art Department at Sotheby's New York, said he was "thrilled" with the result of the first auction he has attended there.

"We saw exceptional demand across the sale which drove the total to such heights," said Wang.

"Collectors from around the world were drawn to high-quality pieces with distinguished provenance, particularly that of museums."

The historical artifacts in the sale included an imperial jade seal which sold for the highest price of the auction, at nearly $3.5m (£2.2m).

Another discovery was a pair of 17th century armchairs which had been given to a church in Victoria, Canada.

They had been used frequently by the clergy and the congregation, and sold for $758,500 (£467,000).