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Ancient vase feared to have fallen in value by £685k because of its cracks fetches £200k at auction

Ancient vase that was feared to have slumped in value by £685k because of its cracks fetches £200k at auction

  • Chinese vase has fetched £200,000 at auction despite being valued at £10,000
  • The 250-year-old vase was accidentally smashed during a 1950s hunting party
  • The blue and white vase would have been worth £700,000 in mint condition 

A Chinese vase which was accidentally smashed during a 1950s hunting party has fetched £200,000 at auction – despite being valued at only £10,000.

The 250-year-old blue and white Qianlong lantern vase would have been worth up to £700,000 in mint condition, and it was feared the damage had removed much of its value.

But despite its numerous cracks and visible glued repairs, the rare pot ended up selling for 20 times its estimate when it went under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire, yesterday.

A Chinese vase which was accidentally smashed during a 1950s hunting party has fetched £200,000 at auction – despite being valued at only £10,000 

The 18in (45cm) Qing dynasty vase dates back to the rule of Emperor Qianlong from 1735-99 and was snapped up by an online buyer from China.

Its owners, a couple from Leicestershire, had accidentally smashed it during a hunting party get-together more than 60 years ago.

But Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, was confident the item was still ‘bursting with Eastern promise’ and would do well at auction.

He said: ‘The Chinese are extremely proud of their artistic heritage and the advanced skills their ancestors perfected centuries ago.

‘Consequently, finds like this often spark strong bidding from the Far East as wealthy collectors like to repatriate items to their homeland.’

The 250-year-old blue and white Qianlong lantern vase would have been worth up to £700,000 in mint condition, and it was feared the damage had removed much of its value

The 250-year-old blue and white Qianlong lantern vase would have been worth up to £700,000 in mint condition, and it was feared the damage had removed much of its value 

He added: ‘It dates back to the period of Emperor Qianlong, circa 1735-99, which makes it a rarity and potentially extremely sought after. It was languishing under a table in a living room.

‘I spotted it during a routine house visit I undertook in Leicestershire to assess a range of antiques.

‘In good condition its auction estimate would have been in the region of £600,000 to £700,000.

‘The vase was probably manufactured in the imperial kilns under the direction of Tang Ying during the early years of Qianlong’s reign, circa 1740, which would make it nearly 300 years old.

The old Chinese vase dates from the rule of Emperor Qianlong between 1735 and 1799

 The old Chinese vase dates from the rule of Emperor Qianlong between 1735 and 1799

‘The landscape is reminiscent of the work of Wang Hui, circa 1632-1717. A similar pair of vases were exhibited at the Minneapolis Museum of Art in America in 2004.

‘Though the vase we have found has been broken and glued back together, it is still exceptional thanks to its subtle combination of underglaze blue and copper red pigments.

‘Also, dense flecking in blue and red gives the impression of grey on two of the deer and on the trunk of the vase a more pinkish colour is achieved.

‘This demonstrates both the virtuosity of the painter and the skill of the kiln master in the perfect firing of the copper red pigments.’

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