Vase Found In Shoebox Pulls In $19M During Auction


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Sotheby’s auction house in Paris sold a rare Chinese vase found in an old shoebox for $19 million Tuesday.

An 18th-century vase brought in a lofty sum at the auction, despite only having an estimated value of $590,000 to $825,000, according to Reuters. The vase went for a value of 20 times more than its approximate value, making it the most expensive piece of art ever auctioned off at Sotheby’s in Paris. (RELATED: Rare Ancient Chinese Bowl Is Auctioned Off For $30 Million)

“This person (the seller) took the train, then the metro and walked on foot through the doors of Sotheby’s and into my office with the vase in a shoebox protected by newspaper,” Olivier Valmier, Sotheby’s Asian arts expert told Reuters. “When she put the box on my desk and we opened it we were all stunned by the beauty of the piece.” (RELATED: Vase Found In Old Shoe Box Set To Go For $600K In Auction)

Despite its high value, the French family put the artifact in the attic due to not being too fond of it. “We didn’t like the vase too much and my grandparents didn’t like it either,” one of the owners told Agence France-Presse in May. (RELATED: A Once Scandalous Nude Painting Sold For $157 Million)

The vase was from Emperor Qianlong, a large patron of the arts during the Qing dynasty. The colorful vase is called “Yangcai.” The porcelain vase includes a wilderness scene complete with deer and trees, according to a press release. (RELATED: New Frida Kahlo Art Exhibit Allows Visitors To See Her Prosthetic Leg)

“Given the huge appetite for Chinese art among today’s collectors, now is the moment to scour your homes and attics, and to come to us with anything you might find!” Sotheby’s Chairman of Asian Art, Europe, and Americas Henry Howard-Sneyd also noted in the press release. (RELATED: Vincent Van Gogh Painting Sells For Millions At Auction)

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