Rare Chinese vase sold for incredible price at auction
- Credit: Diamond Mills
International buyers battled it out for a £200,000 Chinese vase at the Diamond Mills Felixstowe fine art auction.
The vase was sold for the highest price ever paid at a fine art auction in the town as the gavel was brought down by auctioneer Nigel Papworth.
He said: "It is the highlight of my career, it is very exciting.
"Before now, the record here was £42,000 paid for a Georgian marble fireplace and that was a few years ago."
The Chinese vase, in Doucai style, has 15th century Cheng Hua marks but is likely to have been made in the 18th century, he said.
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It has a short hairline crack in the upper neck and a firing crack in the base.
The purchaser, with buyer's premium and VAT, will actually have to pay £236,000.
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"It is the auctioneer's dream when something like this happens. It is what keeps you out there searching.
"Back in 1990 I found a Japanese Imperial Imari vase in the Felixstowe seafront area, which sold for £16,000 which was a lot of money then.
"Chinese works of art are very popular and many are now going back to China.
"We had interest before the sale so we were expecting competitive bids and online bidders.
"Before the sale we were hoping for £10,000 to £20,000 and were surprised and delighted when bidding on the internet and in the room soared to £200,000."
The vase was a family heirloom, among several oriental items consigned by a Suffolk vendor, he said.
"They were absolutely delighted," he added.
"Bidding began at £5,000 and then it took off, with two bidders on line, through £10,000 and £20,000 and then it took off."
The internet bidding reaching £190,000, he said, before a buyer in the Felixstowe sale room topped it at £200,000.
"We had interest before the sale from Chinese buyers.
"The under bidder is also Chinese. This is a very hot market."
The local seller had other items in the auction sale which brought another £7,000, he added.
Auctioneer and estate agent Nigel Papworth has been working in Felixstowe since 1979 and holding Diamond Mills auctions regularly, selling everything from household items to fine arts and collectables.
"I have been holding auctions in Felixstowe since then, and before that in Ely," he added.
"This is a highlight of all those years."