A man in the United Kingdom is set for an estimated £80,000 (over Rs 70 lakh) windfall after it emerged that a vase he had bought for £1( over Rs 87) from a charity shop was made for a Chinese emperor.
The unnamed buyer realized the true worth of the vase only after the immense response he got from bidders after listing the vase on eBay.
He took the vase off the e-commerce site and went to the Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers in Essex to get it professionally appraised and valued.
It turned out his estimate had been right.
Experts found out that the 8-inch vase had an inscription for the Qianlong Emperor, whose reign from 1735 to 1796 as the sixth Emperor of the Qing (Manchu) dynasty is considered to be one of the longest in Chinese history.
It also bore two marks on the side which read "Qianlong chen han” or “the Qianlong emperor's own mark,” according to The Sun UK.
Yexue Li, the head of the Asian art department for Sworders, said that mystery buyer had picked out “the vase because he liked the look of it.”
Unaware of its significance, he put the vase on “eBay with a very low starting price to begin with and there was a lot of interest.”
"He decided to take the vase off eBay and bought it in to us to take a look. He was shocked and very excited when we explained its importance."
Li explained that the vase was “special because it comes with the inscription by the Qianlong Emperor, and he must have commissioned this vase.”
"It's a high quality vase because it was court commissioned, so it would have been of a high value when it was made. It is very exciting, and we've had a lot of interest already."
The vase will be auctioned on November 8.
Last year, a 1740s Chinese vase had sold for almost £15million at an auction in Hong Kong.