Tiny 'teapot' found in Derbyshire garage sells for £390k

  • Published
Chinese ewerImage source, Mark Laban/Hansons
Image caption,
Auctioneers believed interest from Chinese buyers could raise the price to £100,000 but it ended up fetching almost four times as much

A tiny "teapot" found during a lockdown clear-out has sold for £390,000 at auction.

The object, a Chinese wine ewer that may have belonged to an emperor, was found in Derbyshire by the 51-year-old as he went through boxes in a garage.

It was expected to fetch between £20,000 and £40,000 but instead sold for more than the average house.

The anonymous seller, who almost took it to a charity shop, said he might use the cash to buy a metal detector.

The construction worker from Swadlincote added: "I'm thrilled, this will change a few things for us all. I sat and watched the auction live at home with my brother and family.

"It was tense. I got a few cans of Guinness in beforehand.

"We'll be going for a drink tonight and toasting granddad."

Image source, Hansons
Image caption,
The owner's grandfather, Ronald Wadsworth, was awarded a Burma Star medal

The 8.5cm-high ewer was brought back from China by his grandfather, who was stationed there during World War Two.

It spent many years in his mother's display cabinet but eventually ended up in a box in a relative's garage in Church Gresley.

But lockdown gave the seller time to properly look through the boxes in the garage.

Hansons valuers identified his find as an 18th Century wine ewer which may have been used in the palace of Emperor Qianlong.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson said there were two other "almost identical" objects in existence and both were housed in museums in Taiwan and China.

Image source, Hansons
Image caption,
Mr Hanson thanked those at the auction for "creating memories"

During the auction eight phone bidders from around the world, including China, battled for the object.

It was ultimately bought by a buyer from London.

Mr Hanson said: "This is one of the most important objects I've ever had the privilege of selling. It has to be the best lockdown find ever."

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