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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK
Vase sells for 100 times estimate
A stamp showed it was once the personal property of a Chinese emperor
The vase was once the personal property of a Chinese emperor
A rare 18th century Chinese vase has been sold at auction in Edinburgh for 100 times the expected price.

The moonflask had been valued by auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull at 3,000 but sold for more than 300,000.

It had been discovered hidden in the kitchen cupboard of its late owner when assessors went to value the estate.

The 30cm tall blue-green oval vase is not lavishly decorated but it does carry a stamp showing it was once the personal property of a Chinese emperor.

The stamp sent buyers into a frenzy on Wednesday afternoon.

There was so much interest that 10 phone lines were taking bids from across the world.

But the eventual winner was in the saleroom.

Through the roof

They paid a total of 312,000 including the buyer's premium and took the vase home with them after the sale.

It is the most expensive single item ever sold by the auctioneers.

They would not reveal the buyer's identity but said it was likely the vase will now return to China.

The moonflask has scrolled handles on its sides and is decorated all over with moulded chrysanthemum heads and foliage.

Experts reckon it was made directly for the Emperor Yongzheng - a fact which caused demand, and the price, to go through the roof.

A spokesman for Lyon and Turnbull said the vase had been in the hands of a Scottish family.



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