Suffolk

Vase discovered in house clearance sells for £200,000

Chinese vase Image copyright Diamond Mills and Co.
Image caption The 18th Century vase was sold to a bidder in the room at the auction in Felixstowe

A rare 18th Century Chinese vase that was offered for sale during a house clearance has sold at auction for £200,000.

The 27cm (10.75in) piece was bought by an unnamed bidder when it went under the hammer in Felixstowe, Suffolk, on Wednesday.

It dates from the so-called Doucai period of Chinese porcelain, which used a blue under-glaze in its production.

Auctioneer Nigel Papworth said: "Its unusual design made it outstanding".

Diamond Mills auction house was contacted by the family of an elderly Felixstowe man, who wanted to sell off Chinese antiques and furniture because of his move to care home.

The vase had originally belonged to his aunt, who spent many years in the Far East, Mr Papworth said.

Image copyright Diamond Mills and Co.
Image caption Experts originally though the vase was older than it is because of the reign marks on its base

It had been expected to fetch between £10,000 and £20,000 - and the auctioneer said he was "shaking" at the final hammer.

"It has the reign marks of the Chenghua period, from the mid-15th Century, but the Chinese paid homage to their ancestors and put earlier marks on later pieces," he said.

"So it's generally the agreed opinion that this is, as we suspected, from the 1700s.

"When £190,000 flashed up from an internet bidder, the next bid was in the room and the chap nodded and said yes - we knocked it down at £200,000."

He said the most expensive piece the Suffolk auction house had ever sold before was a fireplace at £42,000.

The vase contains a small hairline crack on its neck, and a firing crack in its base that was "probably decorated over at the time of manufacture", he added.

Mr Papworth said the vase was "not in the top league" of imperial Chinese antiquities, and a copy recently sold in the US for just $200.

In 2018, an 18th Century Qing Dynasty vase that had been kept in a shoebox, sold for 16.2m euros (£14.2m) at Sotheby's in Paris.

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