An ornament which had been used as a doorstop by a family for 36 years, could be worth up to £1m according to experts.
A rare antique vase, which had been inherited by a couple in 1980, has made the headlines after an antiques expert realised that it was valuable. A couple from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands had inherited the rare vase from great-aunt following her death. As they did not particularly like the vase, they used it as a doorstop, even allowing their children to play with the football around it.
Adrian Rathbone, from Hansons Auctioneers, had been called to the home of the couple and spotted the vase in the hallway. The client asked him if the vase could be valuable, and when he spotted the seal on the base of the vase, he took it away for further examination. Further research indicated that the vase was made for one of the palaces during the rule of Emperor Qianlong during the 18th Century. Initially, the estimated value was placed between £20,000 and £40,000 but after considerable interest, the experts decided to increase the valuation.
Although the history of the vase is unclear, and it is not certain how the antique arrived in Britain, the couple believe that their great-aunt bought it during a house sale in the 1930s.
Valuable antiques can turn up unexpectedly, especially furniture like antique dining tables and chairs, as they are often sold unwittingly at house sales. To be sure of the value of a piece of furniture, it is advisable to purchase from a reputable dealer.
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