Rare Chinese Vase Found in Pet-Filled Home Sells for $9 Million
by Claire Bugos/Smithsonianmag.com
Porcelain vases and roaming pets can be a precarious combination. Luckily, a rare Chinese vase stored for decades in the open cupboard of a central European house inhabited by multiple cats and dogs remains intact—and more valuable than ever.
Last month, the vase, which dates to the Qianlong dynasty (1735–1799), sold in a Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction for just over $9 million.
Per the auction house’s listing, “[T]his masterpiece ranks amongst the most complex and exquisite porcelains from the Qianlong period ever to have emerged on the market.”
The vase’s exterior features an intricate, celadon-green lattice. Its Western-style enamel and Rococo-style flowers were crafted in yangcai, meaning its “foreign colors” were inspired by contact with Europe. A second vase—painted to depict nine peaches in the traditional blue-and-white style—is visible through the holes in the outer vessel’s decorative screen.