Chinese Vase That Was Deemed 'Quite Ordinary' by Expert Sells for Nearly $9 Million at Auction

"The view of an expert can't outweigh that of 300 people," said Jean-Pierre Osenat, president of the Osenat auction house

Chinese vase auction
Photo: Osenat

This Chinese vase ended up selling for way more than expected.

The vase, which was described as "quite ordinary" by the Osenat auction house in France, was expected to sell for about €2,000 (around $1,952), according to The Guardian. Following a bidding war, it ended up costing €9.12m (about $8.9 million) after seller's fees.


Jean-Pierre Osenat, president of the auction house, told CNN that while an expert said the vase was from the 20th century, and therefore not a rare item, collectors weren't convinced, and believed it was actually from the 18th-century.

"From the moment the catalogue was published we saw there was enormous interest," Cédric Laborde, a director at Osenat, told The Guardian. He went on to add, "Our expert still thinks it's not old."

While 300-400 people expressed an interest in the piece, the number of viable buyers was limited to about 30, according to The Guardian — and they all battled it out over the blue-and-white Tianqiuping-style porcelain vase.

According to Laborde, the winner — a Chinese buyer who has not been identified — will likely put the vase on display somewhere, possibly at a museum.

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Osenat told CNN he now believes the vase actually is from the 18th century. "The view of an expert can't outweigh that of 300 people," he said. "I think the market has spoken."

The vase's owner, who lives in a French territory, asked Osenat to sell it on behalf of her late grandmother, who was a Parisian art collector and had owned the vase for 30 years, according to the outlet.

"It's going to completely change their life," Osenat told the outlet of the sale.

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