Chinese vase with €800 guide price sells for €740,000

Dublin-based owner in shocked silence after blue and white vase sells at auction

The Dublin-based man whose Chinese vase sold for €740,000 over the weekend said he expected it to fetch just €800.

The Qing Period Blue and White Double Gourd Vase with scroll handles sold at a Sheppard’s auction in Durrow, Co Laois on Saturday.

The vase had a guide price of between €800 and €1,200.

Philip Sheppard of Sheppard’s Irish Auction House said he informed the seller, who wishes to remain anonymous, over the weekend.

“His reaction was silence for a little bit and he said to me that his expectation was to get €800 for it,” Mr Sheppard said.

“It’s an imperial piece – it would have been part of the collection of Emperor Qianlong and his dates range from 1711 to 1799. This would have been a gift from the Emperor to some working person.”

Eleven telephone bidders contested the sale, with a Paris-based bidder winning out after seven minutes.

The €740,000 sale price is believed to be the highest for an art object at a public auction in Ireland.

The previous record was set in 2012 when a matchbox-sized piece of carved Chinese jade, dubbed the Durrow Dragon, made €630,000 at auction.