Chinese vase valued below $2,000 sells for nearly $9 million after bidding war

Findings shows that a Chinese vase worth €1,500-€2,000 (approximately $1,470-$1,960) at auction was sold for more than €9 million ($8.8 million) after a bidding war between collectors, glamsquad reports.

According to the Osenat company website, the blue-and-white Tianqiuping vase was sold at the Osenat auction house in Fontainebleau, near Paris, France, on Saturday, October 1, for €9.121 million including fees.

The vase is spherical in shape with a long cylindrical neck. According to the company’s listing, it measures 21 x 16 inches and is decorated with dragons and clouds. Because of their shape, Tianqiuping vases are also known as “celestial sphere” vases.


The vase’s owner, who lives abroad, asked the auctioneer to sell it as part of a consignment of items taken from their late grandmother’s house in Brittany, northwestern France, according to Jean-Pierre Osenat, president of Osenat auction house.

“It’ll completely change their life,” Osenat told newsmen on Tuesday.

“It’s difficult for them to accept.”



The grandmother was an avid art collector who had owned the vase for 30 years, he said, adding that dozens of people came to examine it during a pre-auction exhibition, indicating a high level of interest in the vase.

Around 300-400 people expressed interest in bidding before it was reduced to 30, all of whom were required to pay a deposit to participate.


According to Osenat, there were 15 telephone bidders and 15 present at the auction house, with 10 still bidding when the price passed the €5 million mark.


“It’s incredible,” he said, adding that his previous highest sale price was $6.4 million in 2007, for a sword used by Napoleon at the Battle of Marengo in 1800.

Collectors thought it was a very rare example of an 18th-century Tianqiuping vase, despite bidding professionals initially believing it was a 20th-century art piece not worth bidding on.

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“I believe in the hammer, which means that I believe the law of supply and demand determines market price,” he said. “An expert’s opinion cannot outweigh the views of 300 people.”


Sometimes in auctions, two or three people mistakenly believe an item is far more valuable than an expert has stated, but not 300,000 times. Osenat stated.

“I think the market has spoken,” he said, adding that the vase now appears to be from the 18th century.