Cracked vase expected to fetch £100 sells for £20,000

Lot 80 was a Chinese porcelain famille rose vase that sold for a whopping £20,000

Lot 80 was a Chinese porcelain famille rose vase that sold for a whopping £20,000 - Credit: Archant

Damaged house clearance item sparks bidding frenzy at Sidmouth auction house

A CRACKED vase found in a house clearance sold for £20,000 at a Sidmouth auction house – an incredible two hundred times what is was estimated to fetch.

The Chinese porcelain famille rose antique sparked a bidding frenzy when it went under the hammer at Potburys on Tuesday.

Staff at the firm were shocked as the 33cm-high item, decorated with flowering plants and pomegranates, was originally only estimated to sell for between £100 and £200.

The sought-after lot was landed by one of a record 11 telephone bidders. It also attracted a massive amount of online interest.

Potbury’s bosses said the vase had ‘condition issues’ and was ‘extensively cracked’ at the neck with some basic restoration work having been done.

“We knew it had a bit of potential, but as soon as our catalogue went online, it went crazy,” auction manager Brinley Roberts told the Herald.

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“When it came in from the house clearance, we thought it had something about it. All the rest of the stuff went into a general sale, but we held on to it for an antique sale.

“We thought the damage was going to affect its value.

“Numerous requests for condition reports and further photographs were received as soon as our catalogue was put online.

“We got the most phone bids we’ve ever had.”

The vase was part of a consignment from a local house clearance.

Brinley added that the vase went to a buyer in Britain, but he was sure it would end up back in China.