The sale of an 18th century Qianlong-dynasty vase for £51.6 million ($83 million) last November created widespread buzz about attic finds and the strength of the Chinese art market.
Auctioneer Bainbridge's, a small firm in suburban London, catapulted the estate item into the most expensive piece of Chinese art ever to be sold in the UK.
Five months after the sale, the story has yet to be concluded with a happy ending.
The auctioneer has not confirmed whether the wealthy Chinese industrialist who made the winning bid has paid.
Since the sale, trade talk has introduced skepticism over the piece's authenticity.