Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and so is value, apparently! An art expert in France was fired after estimating a valuable Chinese vase worth $8 million 4,000 times less than its sale price- $1950. French auction house Osenat fired one of its art experts after their appraisal of a vase missed the mark and by a lot! “The expert made a mistake. One person alone against 300 interested Chinese buyers cannot be right,” Osenat said. “He was working for us. He no longer works for us. It was, after all, a serious mistake.” A French woman entrusted Jean-Pierre Osenat’s auction house for the sale of a porcelain blue and white vase decorated with clouds and nine dragons. The seller’s grandmother originally purchased it, and despite being passed down the family for decades, no one knew of its value.
⭐️ Adjugé 7.7 Millions d’Euros sous le marteau de Maître Osenat cet après-midi à Fontainebleau, un grand vase TIANQIUPING en porcelaine et émaux polychromes#chine #auction #enchères pic.twitter.com/fN9U8wmPrQ
— Osenat (@OsenatSVV) October 1, 2022
The vase is a Chinese tianqiuping meaning celestial globe, that was put in a “furniture and works of art” auction of 200 lots that range between $1,500 and $2,000. Osenat listed the item online and was flooded with potential buyers entailing the vase was indeed something special. “They came with lamps and magnifying glasses to look at it. Obviously, they saw something,” Osenat told The Guardian. “There were so many registrations [to take part in the auction online] we had to stop them. At that point, we understood something was happening.” What followed was the auction with a limited number of 30 interested buyers.
Each had to pay a hefty $10,000 deposit to participate. After a shower of rapidly increasing bets, the Chinese vase finally went under the hammer for a staggering $7.7 million to an anonymous buyer on the phone. Where does this leave the seller? Per the auction house, “The vase had been in her family for generations. She said they used to put flowers in it. She had lived with it for 30 years and never imagined it was worth that much. She’s completely unsettled. If it had sold for €150,000 that would have been something, but €7.7m is something else. She’s terrified of being in the press and quite traumatized by it,” said Osenat, per The Guardian.
A similar incident occurred a few years ago when a Chinese vase owned by an Irish family for the past 82 years and valued at $612 was sold for a whopping $1.84 million.