Pinner Qing Dynasty Vase



2015-06-26 10:44:26

The vase was consigned to the auction by a family who said that an explorer uncle probably picked it up in China during the inter-war years of the 1920s and 1930s.1

It is thought to have left its original home at a royal palace at the end of the 19th century at a time of widespread looting. During the 1930s China underwent a depression, and antiques were sold, but the details of its acquisition remain unknown.

The auction

Following the death of the owner, the vase was left to the family as part of a collection of antique maps and other collectibles. It was assigned a value of £800 for the purposes of probate, but was noticed by an expert and the family decided to sell it at Bainbridges auction house.

There, a different view was taken of its value and they estimated it at £800,000. At the November 11, 2010 auction frantic bidding saw this far surpassed as the vase sold for a hammer price of £43m and an overall total sale price of £53.1m.

This beat the previous world record for a piece of Chinese art work, which had been set at £40.9m for a Song] Dynasty scroll sold in Beijing earlier in 2010 and also beat the previous record for Chinese porcelain by £20m.23

Auctioneer Peter Bainbridge confirmed the sale by bringing down his gavel with such force that it shattered. The transaction earned the company nearly £8m in commission. Its previous record price was for a piece of Ming dynasty enamel worth £100,000.


On 2 March 2011 it was revealed that the vase remains unpaid for and could be reauctioned or sold to one of the underbidders at the original auction. The prospective buyer's identity has never been revealed although it is thought he is a Chinese industrialist.

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.

collect it