This $56 Vase Found in Europe Just Sold for $9 Million in a Chinese Art Auction
Feeling like you need to make a quick few million bucks? You may want to look in your grandma’s attic.
According to CNN, a Chinese vase, which once sold at an auction for a mere £44 ($56) just sold at auction once again. This time, however, it went for more than 70 million Hong Kong dollars, which equates to about $9 million. The vase, CNN explained, was discovered in an elderly woman's remote country home in Central Europe.
Sotheby's described the vase as a "lost masterpiece,” as it’s actually a rare 18th-century artifact once owned by the Qianlong Emperor. However, for the last few years, it sat far outside any royal residence. Instead, it was found sitting in a home filled with cats and dogs acting as just any old decoration.
"It is a miracle that this extraordinarily fragile vase survived half a century in a home surrounded by countless pets," Nicolas Chow, chairman of Sotheby's Asia, said in a statement.
According to Sotheby's, Amsterdam-based art consultant Johan Bosch van Rosenthal was the one who found the vase at the woman’s home. Rosenthal shared the story of his remarkable discovering in a video posted to Sotheby’s official YouTube channel.
"We reached a room with a number of Chinese works of art inherited many years ago," he said in the three-minute clip. "Her four cats walked around freely among these.”
Then, he says, she pointed out the “partly gilded Chinese vase on a cupboard” which he says she knew was “something special and valuable."
According to CNN, the auction house then verified its authenticity and was even able to trace its previous whereabouts to the Palace of Heavenly Purity in Beijing's Forbidden City. In 1954, the vase also made its way through the auction house, where it sold for the staggeringly low price of £44 ($56).
Now, if only someone could go through my garage and find me a few million dollars worth of stuff that’d be great.