Chinese Vase Found in Shoebox Fetches $19 Million at Auction

detail
detail
(Sotheby's)
  • This 18th century Chinese Qing Dynasty vase sold for $19 million.

    This 18th century Chinese Qing Dynasty vase sold for $19 million.

    Sotheby's

An 18th-century Chinese vase found in a shoebox in an attic in France has sold for 16.2 million euros ($19.1 million) at auction in Paris, reports Reuters.

The vase went for more than 20 times the pre-sale low estimate of 500,000 euros, making it the highest price ever for a single item sold by Sotheby's in France.

Bearing the mark of the Qianlong Emperor who ruled China from 1736 to 1796, the vase intricately depicts animals in the woods and features gold embroidery around its neck. It had been tucked away in the attic with other items that were inherited by the consignor.

"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," Sotheby's Asian arts expert Olivier Valmier said.

"When she put the box on my desk and we opened it we were all stunned by the beauty of the piece."

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