Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and apparently, the same can be said for value!
An art expert from France has been fired after appraising a valuable Chinese vase worth eight million dollars for 4.000 times less - $1,950. The French auction house fired this expert after his assessment was definitely a miss. "The expert made a mistake. One person against 300 interested Chinese buyers simply can't be right. They worked for us, but they don't work anymore. Still, it was a really serious and big mistake."
A lady from France entrusted Jean-Pierre Osenat auction house with the sale of her precious blue and white porcelain vase decorated with clouds and dragons, of which there are nine in total. According to the story, her grandmother originally bought the vase, which was passed down from generation to generation as a family heirloom, and apparently no one was aware of its true value.
The vase is described as a Chinese "tianquiping", which translates to celestial globe, and was part of the furniture and art auction, along with 200 other lots that were estimated between $1,500 and $2,000. Osenat Auction House listed the piece online and was inundated with potential buyers, giving them some indication that it was a special artifact. "People came with lamps and magnifying glasses to look at it. Obviously, they saw something in it," the auction house's leaders said. "There were so many bids for the auction that we had to turn them off. At that point we realized something was going on," they added. After that realization, people from the auction house held a sale with a limited number of 50 interested buyers.
In fact, each interested buyer had to pay a deposit of $10,000 to be part of the auction. After bids mounted at lightning speed, the Chinese vase eventually sold for $7.7 million to an anonymous telephone bidder. But what does this bring to the lady from France who decided to sell the vase? "The vase has been in her family for generations. She says it was used to hold flowers and she lived with it for almost 30 years and never realized its true value. She is now really upset. Because the vase sold for such a high price price, she is afraid that it will end up in the media," said the auction house.
By the way, a similar incident happened a few years ago, when a Chinese vase, which was owned by a family from Ireland for 82 years, was valued at $612, and was sold for $1.84 million.