If you’re in need of some extra cash, it might be worth having a rummage around your attic.
A rare 18th century Chinese vase uncovered during a house clearance has sold for £230,000 – well over its pre-sale estimate of £100.
The auctioneer who flogged it was left ‘shaking’ after the fierce bidding war over the 10.75 inch antique.
The antique belonged to a local pensioner who was selling items in his house to move into a care home.
The vase was snapped up by a Chinese buyer when it went under the hammer at the Diamond Mills auction house in Felixstowe, Suffolk.
Would-be buyers were desperate to get their hands on the vase, despite it having a small hairline crack to its neck and a firing crack to its base.
The pensioner inherited it several years ago from his aunt who once lived in the Far East and brought the vase back with her.
It is thought to originate from the Yongzheng period of the Qing dynasty, dating from 1723 and 1735.
The vase is decorated in delicate flowers of varying colours and sits on a hardwood stand, which may or may not be original.
The auction house said it was ‘staggered’ by how much they raked in from the vase, which dates from the Doucai period of Chinese porcelain.
The antique achieved a hammer price of £200,000, with extra fees taking the overall figure paid to £230,000.
They had given it a ‘conservative’ pre-sale estimate of £100, as they did not think it was in the ‘top league’ of Imperial Chinese antiquities.
Auctioneer Nigel Papworth said: ‘With pieces of porcelain like this there are a lot of copies about and it’s tough to tell what’s what.
‘We gave it a typically conservative estimate but when we saw the bidding going up and up we couldn’t believe it. When I put the hammer down at £200,000 I was shaking.
‘I suppose it was its unusual design which made it outstanding, although we did not think it was in the top league of Imperial Chinese antiquities.
‘The buyer was Chinese, as is usually the way with these things, and I’d expect it to take it back over there and sell it on down the line.’
The rest of the vendor’s collection of Chinese antiques and furniture sold for £7,000.