A Chinese vase that was originally expected to fetch €2,000 ($2,000) far exceeded its initial estimate at an auction in France this week, selling for €9 million ($8,980,000). The sale of decorative arts took place at French Osenat auction house based in Fontainebleau.
The anonymous seller inherited the Chinese ‘Tianqiuping’ style vase, which has a blue and white floral patterning typical of the period, from her mother’s estate after the artifact was passed down through her family members based in France.
The seller, who was not present for the sale, was not in possession of the vase before it was shipped from Paris to the Brittany coast ahead of hitting the auction block this week.
The vase, measuring 22 inches in height and 16 inches wide, features renderings of dragons, flowers, and clouds. Experts at the auction house believe that the vase was likely produced between the 18th and 20th centuries, but that is unconfirmed. If it was produced during the earlier period, it would mean the antique is rare compared to later examples.
Specialists at the auction house initially estimated the vase at €1,500 to €2,000 ($1,500-$2,000) due to its unknown date. During the live auction, a bidding war raised the hammer price to €7.7 million ($7 million) nearly 4,000 times its original estimate. It went for a final price of €9.12 million ($9 million) with premium to an anonymous Chinese buyer.
Tianqiuping vases have fetched high prices in the past. In 2018, a vase long held in storage at Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art sold for $14 million at Christie’s in Hong Kong. It was initially valued at $9 million.