Chinese vase found in shoebox sold for Rs 126 crore at Sotheby’s art auction
A Chinese vase from the 18th century found in a shoebox in an attic in France was sold for 16.2 million euros or Rs 126 crore at an auction in Paris on June 12, 2018.
As per a report by BBC, auctioneers at Sotheby’s had estimated the vase to sell for around 50,000 – 70,000 euros. However, the vase attracted 20 times the estimated price making it the highest priced single item sold at Sotheby’s, France. The vase was stashed in the attic for many years and was inherited by a French family who retrieved the vase and brought it to the auctioneer.
Olivier Valmier, the Asian Arts expert at Sotheby said, “the seller took the train, then the metro and walked on foot through the doors of Sotheby's and into my office with the vase in a shoebox protected by [a] newspaper. When she put the box on my desk and we opened it, we were all stunned by the beauty of the piece. It is as if we had just discovered a Caravaggio.”
The bulb-shaped vase is 30-cm long and painted in shades of green, blue, yellow and purple. According to art experts, it is an extremely well-preserved porcelain vase possibly made for an emperor of the Qing dynasty. The painting depicts birds, deer and other animals and has a gold embroidery around its neck. It also bears a mark of the Qianlong Emperor who ruled China from 1736 to 1795.
According to Valmier, this is the only sample in the world with so much detail. The auction lasted for 20 minutes which is a long time as compared to other auctions. There were multiple bidders for the vase. It was finally purchased by an Asian buyer whose identity was not revealed by the auctioneer.