Vase Sitting In Kitchen Revealed To Be Qing-Dynasty Porcelain Worth $1.8M
By Alexa Heah, 26 May 2022
When a UK surgeon purchased a beautiful blue-toned silver and gold vase in the 1980s for just several hundred pounds, he’d never have guessed the piece would turn out to be an Imperial Qianlong porcelain worth much, much more.
In fact, the owner of the magnificent work had simply passed it on to his son, who had placed it in his kitchen as part of the décor. It was only till an antiques specialist spotted the vase during a visit, that the true value and provenance of the piece was made known.
According to Dreweatts, the auction house that sold the vase for US$1.8 million, the towering work measures two feet tall, with the distinctive six-character mark of the Qianlong period (1736 – 1795) adorned on its base.
Interestingly, the Imperial Qianlong porcelain could have been created as an ideal reference to heaven, as it bears the shape is known as tianqiuping, or “heavenly globe vase,” with its vibrant royal blue glaze at times called “sacrificial blue” in reference to the sacrifices at the Imperial Altar of Heaven.
The firm pointed out that as a devout Buddhist, the Qianlong Emperor would’ve followed Daoism’s wish for long life, evident by the silver cranes on the vase holding onto the eight immortal emblems associated with the religion, such as a flower basket, a flute, a fan, and castanets.
Creating such a vase during the time period was no easy task, as it was extremely rare to see blue vases embellished with both gold and raised silver. The craftsmen would’ve had to have fired it at least three times in the kiln for the three different glazes and enamels, at temperatures of over 1,200°C (2,192°F).
Imagine finding out such an exceptional piece of history was simply sitting in your kitchen!
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