This Qianlong vase sold for 115,000 at Sheppards of Durrow, Co. Laois.
A 12 inch high Ming style pear shaped Chinese vase with an asking price of just €150 made a whopping €110,000 at Sheppards sale in Durrow on March 2, 2010. It turned out to be an authentic vase from the Imperial House in the Forbidden City.
The purchaser was Richard Peters of Richard Peters Antiques, the Antique Centre, Kensington Church St., London W8. The underbidder was Rong Chen, who travelled especially from Beijing for the auction. Her husband had seen the lot on the internet.
Mr. Peters said the vase was made for the personal collection of the 18th century Emperor Qianlong. It is decorated simply with images of banana and bamboo trees.
He believes it was likely to have been looted from the Imperial Palace by French, British or American soldiers in the 19th century.
The vase bears the Qianlong seal mark and of the period, 1736 – 1795. There is a similar Qianlong example in the National Palace Museum, Taipei.
UPDATE: It was sold subsequently at Bonhams in London for £240,000 on November 11, 2010. The buyer was Chinese.