The word “treasure” has the connotation of a chest of gold and diamonds buried on a faraway island. However, many don’t keep in mind that treasures may reside within your own home.
A blessed family has shown that luck really does come around when you look hard enough for it, by uncovering one of the 18th century’s most valuable pieces in their own attic…
A family in Paris had an attic that they rarely went up to. It’s been decades since anyone roamed the place. Anyone who walked by the attic’s entrance wouldn’t give it a second thought, and keep on walking; until one day when their lives would be changed forever from an old decoration.
The family, curious to see what the attic had to offer, decided to explore and clean it up. They were hoping to find old family memories, valuable knick-knacks, and lost items; but they would instead find a family treasure that had been laying above their heads the whole time.
As soon as they opened the ceiling stairs, a barrage of dust fell down, eliciting coughs from the family. Then, one at a time, they slowly walked up the creaky stairs, hoping they would still be strong enough to support their weight. When they reached the top of the stairs, they would find that the attic was much more different than what they imagined…
The room was pitch black, plastered with dust bunnies, and loaded with boxes, straight out of a horror movie. It would be a while before they went through all of the contents this attic had to offer…
They returned to the attic, prepared with flashlights and cleaning tools. After rummaging through most of the boxes, they started to grow tired, thinking that this search was pointless, as they hadn’t found anything significant. Before they were about to give up, one of the family members opened a shoe box, flinching from the shine that came from inside.
A Decent Vase?
It was a vase; a beautiful one, at that. The piece was left to the grandparents of the family by an uncle that traveled as a hobby, in a will which also included many other works of Chinese porcelain and some Japanese artworks. But in their eyes, the family thought it wasn’t a very special vase. They couldn’t have been more wrong…
It portrays birds, deer, and other animals in a forest, and includes gold embroidery around the neck. The vase takes a mark of the Qianlong Emperor who ruled China from 1736 to 1796. They decided to sell it at an auction, and see how much money people would bid for the vase…
Arrival To Auction
Sotheby’s Paris was a popular place for holding auctions and was the destination for this rare vase. When the family brought it inside, the auctioneer opened the box to look at what they were selling. She wasn’t prepared for the reaction she was going to get.
She was blown away by the quality of the art. It was miles ahead of the objects she auctions for her job every day. She knew right away that this auction was going to be one of the most extreme she’s ever held…
Underestimating The Price
They set an auction estimate of $590,000 to $825,000, expecting to get a great amount out of it. However, “great” couldn’t even begin to describe how much this vase would sell for…
From Auction To Competition
The family and auctioneer were blown away at the response of the consumers. One bidded $850k, another one bidded $900k, and then the prices started rocketing into the millions.
Whenever they weren’t bidding, they were shouting at each other, trying to argue about who deserved the vase. The family was shocked when they witnessed the price climbing higher and higher…
“$1.25 million!” one of the bidders shouted. “$1.5 million!” screamed another person. “$2 million!” and then “3 million!” yelled another. The family was overwhelmed by the demand that their seemingly standard vase was getting. Then, the bids went even higher, up to eight digits…
Sold For A Monstrous Amount
The extended history along with its prestigious standings at the time gave the vase a final bidding value that the family couldn’t believe. Archaeologists and historians have spent decades searching every corner of the world for this type of artifact that ended up being sold for a jaw-dropping $19 million!
Too Good To Be True
At this point, the family marveled at whether or not they were having a dream. They couldn’t believe their eyes as they saw the long string of numbers displayed on the screen. They couldn’t believe that those numbers belonged to them now…
The porcelain vessel was made for an emperor of the Qing Dynasty, which was the last dynasty before it was replaced by the Republic of China. As a vase made during the 18th century, it had a long and top-notch history.
One Of A Kind
Sotheby’s Paris exclaimed that, “The vase is of exceptional rarity: the only known example of its kind. Famille Rose porcelains of the period are extremely rare on the market, with most examples currently housed in the National Palace Museum in Taipei and other museums around the world.”
The vase ended up breaking the record for a piece sold at Sotheby’s Paris, and the record for a Chinese porcelain sale in France. Also groundbreaking is the fact that the auction lasted over 20 minutes, which is a long time for auctions to last.
Who Bought It?
To this day, the buyer of the vase remains a mystery. They didn’t want their nationality or name to be revealed. The only thing the public knows about this buyer is that he/she is Asian. That is the only known piece of information on the person who paid tens of millions of dollars on a single vase.
A Message From Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s said “Chinese art has been admired and collected across Europe for centuries, but the importance of certain pieces is occasionally lost over time. Given the huge appetite for Chinese art among today’s collectors, now is the moment to scour your homes and attics, and to come to us with anything you might find!”