The sale of a beautiful Chinese vase stunned the crowd (and the auctioneer) at a small auction room in Suffolk, England. An elderly gentleman, who was selling the contents of his home, was the consignor of numerous items; among them, a 10 ¾ inch vase thought to be from the Yongzheng period (1723 – 1735). The vase was inspired by 15th century Ming Dynasty pottery, which was very common in the 18th century. The creator even went so far as to include the six-character mark for the Ming Emperor Chenghua (1464 – 87) on the bottom. Originally, the vase belonged to the consignor’s aunt who had spent a great deal of time in the Far East.
The vase carried a £100- 150 estimate and opened at what appeared to be a strong £800. Pretty quickly the bidding got intense, as one person in the room battled it out against two online bidders. The two online bidders quickly pushed the price to £80,000, and then a determined bidder in the room took it to £200,000! When the commission was added in, the new owner paid £236,000, a new record price for any work sold by the auction house … their previous record was only £42,000 … guess that’s why the auctioneer was really surprised.