A Chinese vase which was bought for £1 in a British charity shop could sell for about £80,000 because it was made for an 18th century Chinese emperor.
Unaware of its significance, the shopper listed the small yellow florally-decorated vase on eBay to see if it was worth anything. That’s when they realised they may have stumbled on a massive diamond in the rough.
Once it went online, the listing was inundated with messages and bids.
Realising the pear-shaped vase, which is designed to be attached to a wall, must be quite valuable, the lucky shopper removed it from eBay. He then took it to specialists at Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers’ in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, to have it appraised.
It turns out the vase, found in a little shop in Hertfordshire, was made around 300 years ago in China and was marked with a symbol that meant it wasn't for export, but for the Emperor's palace.
It is inscribed with an imperial poem that 'praises incense' and two iron-red seal marks that read 'Qianlong chen han' or 'the Qianlong Emperor's own mark'.
It also reads 'Weijing weiyi' which translates to 'be precise, be undivided'.