Qing dynasty vase found in attic sells for $19 million

A rare Imperial Qianlong porcelain vase (18th century) is displayed at Sotheby's auction company in Paris, on May 22, 2018.

rare Qing dynasty vase that was discovered in the attic of a French family home has sold at auction in Paris for €16.2 million, or about $19 million.
That’s the absolute record for a piece sold at Sotheby’s Paris, and the record for a Chinese porcelain sale in France.
The intricately decorated vase was hidden away in an old shoebox. After finding it, the owners took it to Sotheby’s Paris to be appraised, whereupon the auction house told them it dated from the 18th-century. They set an auction estimate of €500,000 to €700,000 (about $590,000 to $825,000), which was blown away by the sale.
According to Sotheby’s, the vase was left to the grandparents of its present owners by an uncle, in a will which also included several other works of Chinese porcelain, and some Japanese artworks, including an “unusual bronze mirror” which will also be sold at auction at the same time as the vase.
Sotheby’s expert Olivier Valmier said in a statement that on opening the shoebox he was “immediately struck” by the quality of the item, which he said was a Yangcai Famille-Rose porcelain vase bearing a mark from the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, who ruled China from 1736 to 1795.
“The vase is of exceptional rarity: the only known example of its kind,” Sotheby’s said. “Famille Rose porcelains of the period (or yangcai porcelains, as they are known) are extremely rare on the market, with most examples currently housed in the National Palace Museum in Taipei and other museums around the world.”
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Qing dynasty vase found in attic sells for $19 million

Updated 12th June 2018
A rare Imperial Qianlong porcelain vase (18th century) is displayed at Sotheby's auction company in Paris, on May 22, 2018.

Credit: THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Qing dynasty vase found in attic sells for $19 million
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Written byJames Griffiths, CNNJacopo Prisco, CNN
A rare Qing dynasty vase that was discovered in the attic of a French family home has sold at auction in Paris for €16.2 million, or about $19 million.
That’s the absolute record for a piece sold at Sotheby’s Paris, and the record for a Chinese porcelain sale in France.
The intricately decorated vase was hidden away in an old shoebox. After finding it, the owners took it to Sotheby’s Paris to be appraised, whereupon the auction house told them it dated from the 18th-century. They set an auction estimate of €500,000 to €700,000 (about $590,000 to $825,000), which was blown away by the sale.
According to Sotheby’s, the vase was left to the grandparents of its present owners by an uncle, in a will which also included several other works of Chinese porcelain, and some Japanese artworks, including an “unusual bronze mirror” which will also be sold at auction at the same time as the vase.
The vase was stored in a shoebox in an attic for decades.

The vase was stored in a shoebox in an attic for decades. Credit: THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Sotheby’s expert Olivier Valmier said in a statement that on opening the shoebox he was “immediately struck” by the quality of the item, which he said was a Yangcai Famille-Rose porcelain vase bearing a mark from the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, who ruled China from 1736 to 1795.
“The vase is of exceptional rarity: the only known example of its kind,” Sotheby’s said. “Famille Rose porcelains of the period (or yangcai porcelains, as they are known) are extremely rare on the market, with most examples currently housed in the National Palace Museum in Taipei and other museums around the world.”
In April, a Famille-Rose porcelain bowl sold in Hong Kong for over $30 million, the auction house said.
Despite its rarity and potential value, the current owners weren’t originally very keen. “We didn’t like the vase too much, and my grandparents didn’t like it either,” one of them told Agence France-Presse.
Henry Howard-Sneyd, Sotheby’s chairman of Asian Art for Europe and the Americas, was optimistic about future such discoveries.
“Chinese art has been admired and collected across Europe for centuries, but the importance of certain pieces is occasionally lost over time,” he said in a statement.
“Given the huge appetite for Chinese art among today’s collectors, now is the moment to scour your homes and attics, and to come to us with anything you might find!”

‘I am broken’: A year on and still no justice for Grenfell fire victims

For Miguel Alves, it doesn’t feel like it was a year ago that a fire gutted his London home and reduced much of it to ashes — it feels a lot longer than that.

Time has passed at a painfully slow pace for the 50-year-old chauffeur, who moved to London from Portugal. And he isn’t looking forward to Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people and left a community homeless and heartbroken.
“That year it was so emotional all year round, but now is the worst time, because we have to remember everything,” Alves told CNN in a temporary flat, where he lives with his wife, son and daughter.
“In one year, there’s been such a lot of things to deal with. It looks like two or three years.”
Time is supposed to heal wounds, but for many Grenfell survivors and victims’ relatives, the anniversary is a reminder of just how little has been put right over the past year.
Alves knows he is one of the luckier ones. He and his wife were returning home from dinner in the early hours of June 14 last year, and as they pushed number 13 in the elevator to get to their apartment, someone else ran in as the doors were closing and pushed the button for the fourth floor.
It was there, low down in the 24-story building, that the fire had broken out, and it was during that quick stop that Alves and his wife saw and smelled the early signs of the blaze.
Alves raced upstairs to get his daughter out of bed, and knocked on his neighbors’ doors to warn them.
The Alves family, along with a former Grenfell neighbor, watch a documentary about the fire, in the kitchen of the their temporary home in Kensington.