A Chinese vase “forgotten” for years in a living room in Cumbria has sold Bonhams for more than £100,000.
The 18th Century famille rose Chllong bottle vase, thought to have maybe graced a Chinese imperial palace, was discovered at a Bonhams valuation day in Kendal in the English Lake District.
The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the vase was “plonked” on top of some furniture and she took it along at the last minute.
Bonhams senior valuer Chris Jarrey said they were “bowled over” when the vase was unwrapped from the owner’s towel.
He said: “She had a bag full of items, of which this [the vase] was the last item she brought out expecting it to be the least interesting.She had a box of quite nice silver spoons and one or two other bits and pieces, and then she just pulled this out, it was wrapped up in an old towel and she could see the expression on our faces.”
Mr Jarrey said the Chilong vases were “highly desirable” as they were produced for Chinese emperors.
Bearing the six-character seal mark of the great Emperor Qianlong, the vase was expected to fetch £50,000-80,000 so it came in just ahead of expectations. It sold for £110,500 at Bonhams Fine Chinese Art sale in London today.
Even bigger prices are expected next week with major sales at auction houses all over England, including Woolley & Wallis, Chiswick Auctions, Dreweatt & Bloomsbury and Dukes of Dorchester. Even remote Northumberland has an auction with more than 50 Chinese lots tomorrow, Saturday (www.the-saleroom.com).