An ancient Chinese qianlong vase that had been kept by an elderly woman in her pet’s home for the past 50 years sold at a British auction house on Thursday for more than $9 million.
According to Business Insider, the vase was found among the old woman’s pets, described by Sotheby’s as a “lost masterpiece” and a “journey of craftsmanship,” and said to have been made for the Qianlong Emperor of China.
According to Sotheby’s, the vase was first discovered by Ohan Bosch van Rosenthal, an art consultant in Amsterdam. In one video, Mr. Rosenthal describes the first time he saw the vase in the old woman’s dusty room. “There was some art in the room, and her four cats were walking around it, and she pointed to the vase on the cabinet and showed me, and she knew it was valuable.”
Mr. Rosenthal said that while he was not an expert on the subject, he noticed that it was no ordinary vase. He sent a photograph of the vase to Nicholas Chow, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, who confirmed that it was indeed valuable. Experts at the auction house not only found records of the vase in the archives of the Chinese royal family, but also discovered that it had been sold at Sotheby’s in 1954 for $56 and $101 respectively.
It is also the third Chinese antique vase to fetch millions at auction in the past 10 years, the report said. In 2010, a Chinese vase also from the Qianlong period sold for $68 million; In 2018, a Chinese vase found in a shoe box in a French attic sold for $19 million.