Vase sells for 'impossible' amount at Birmingham auctioneers
A Chinese vase has sold for 450 times what it was estimated to fetch at an auction house in Birmingham.
It was thought the intricately-painted porcelain wucai fish vase might be sold for up to £1,800, but instead it went for £810,000.
Auctioneers, Fellows, in the Jewellery Quarter, said the sum broke their house records, thanks to two rival bidders.
The original guide price for the vase came from the vendor, the auction house said.
One bidder flew in from Japan for the auction and there were a "multitude" of telephone bids with people competing online from outside the UK, including from China and Japan.
Fellows said the item was initially believed to be a 20th Century copy of a vase fashioned during the reign of Emperor Jiajing of the Chinese Ming dynasty who ruled from 1521 to 1567, hence the initial estimate of its price.
Mark Huddleston, senior specialist, said he was "delighted" with the sale and predicting the final price "became impossible".
"This vase was consigned via a Chinese client.
"Initial research when cataloguing had pointed to a number of historic precedents sold in the tens and hundreds of thousands.
"We examined the decoration to the collar and felt that it lacked sophistication of these early pieces.
"Whilst we dealt with a number of condition inquiries before the sale, little could have prepared us for the result."