I sold an old hand-me-down vase for £1.5million – do you have a priceless antique hidden at home?
A HAND-ME-DOWN vase that had been standing in a kitchen for years has been sold for £1.5MILLION after it was spotted by an astonished antiques expert.
The original owner, a surgeon, had bought the 2ft tall piece for a few hundred pounds in the 1980s.
When he died, it was handed down to his son, who had no idea of its value.
The vase's worth was only revealed when a specialist happened to spot it on a visit to the property in England.
The expert realised it was special – and it was later revealed to be an ultra-rare Chinese vase made for the court of the Qianlong Emperor in the 1700s.
The blue-glazed silver and gilt piece, which is decorated with cranes and bats, was initially estimated to be worth between £100,000 and £150,000 by Berkshire-based Dreweatts Auctioneers.
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But after details were released, there was a storm of interest around the world.
When the vase went under the hammer this week, an international buyer splurged almost £1.5m to secure it.
Mark Newstead, from the auction house, said: "We are delighted with this exceptional result.
"We saw widespread interest from China, Hong Kong, America and the UK which resulted in very competitive bidding."
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The vase has been was described as "a testament to the creativity" of craftsmen working during the Qianlong period, who used enamelling techniques to cater to the emperor’s taste in exotic styles.
It would have needed at least three firings in the kiln for the different colours.
The auction house said it may even be unique.
"Thrillingly, no other porcelain decorated with the same subject in gold and silver appears to have ever been documented," they added.
Although Antiques Roadshow fans will know the value of the vase is unusually high, experts say there may be treasure hidden in almost any attic.
Comparatively recent items can still sell for thousands.
Kate Bliss, of TV’s Flog It! and Bargain Hunt, says: “People often think only old items are valuable, but even 1990s stuff can fetch a lot.”
Vinyl made between 1993 and 1999 is rare – and albums by bands like Mansun and Kula Shakur could sell for up to £80.
However, sellers are warned to set their sights a little lower.
While a rare 1963 first edition of The Beatles album Please Please Me sold on eBay for £4,544 earlier this year, the average selling price for a vinyl record on eBay is £21.
Pokemon trading cards used to cost around £1 a pack – but some rare cards have since gone on the market for upwards of £1m.
First edition books can also be extremely valuable. Harry Potter first editions can sell for more than £50,000.
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Furniture fans can also shell out for good-quality pieces.
One TikTok user has shared the secret signs that mean a discarded wardrobe or chest of drawers is actually a hidden gem.
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