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Chinese vase sells for 'impossible' amount after bidding war at Birmingham auctioneers

Bids from Japan and China for record breaking lot at Fellows in the Jewellery Quarter

Fellows Bids came from around the world for this vase.
Bids came from around the world for this vase.

A Chinese vase has fetched 450 times its estimated value after a frenzied bidding war broke out at an auction in Birmingham.

Auctioneers had thought the painted porcelain "lacked sophistication" before it went under the hammer.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder and a furious bidding war soon broke out between two rival bidders.

It had been expected to go for £1,800. At the end of the bidding it fetched £810,000.

The vase was sold at Jewellery Quarter auctioneers, Fellows.

One bidder flew in from Japan to bid for the vase, while many others made telephone bids from places including China and Japan.

Fellows and Sons (pictured) in the Jewellery Quarter.

When the hammer went down the final sum had broke Fellows house record.

The auction house said the original guide price for the vase came from the vendor.

Why is the vase so sought after?

The guide price for the item was set by the vendor, auction house bosses said.

It had originally been thought to be a 20th Century copy of a vase fashioned during the reign of Emperor Jiajing of the Chinese Ming dynasty who ruled from 1521 to 1567.

By 明朝画师 - 国立故宫博物院,
Jiajing Emperor.

Mark Huddleston, senior specialist, said he was "delighted" with the sale and predicting the final price "became impossible".

"This vase was consigned via a Chinese client.

"Initial research when cataloguing had pointed to a number of historic precedents sold in the tens and hundreds of thousands.

"We examined the decoration to the collar and felt that it lacked sophistication of these early pieces.

"Whilst we dealt with a number of condition inquiries before the sale, little could have prepared us for the result."

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