Monday, 13 July 2020

$56 Chinese vase found in a cat-filled house goes for $9m

Once sold at auction for £44 ($56), the vase was made specifically for the Qianlong Emperor and went under the hammer for over 70 million Hong Kong dollars ($9 million) after being discovered in an elderly woman's country home. Described by Sotheby's as a "lost masterpiece," the rare 18th-century artifact survived the last 50 years in a remote house in central Europe surrounded by the owner's pet cats.

The "double-walled" item is just one of a handful of similar designs, which were only attempted under the guidance of imperial kiln supervisor Tang Ying in the years 1742 and 1743. Described by Sotheby's as a "technical tour-de-force," the pear-shaped vase is an example of a style of porcelain known as "yangcai," or "foreign colors."