Last year, one thrift store enthusiast bought two jars in a thrift store for approximately $25. The jars have since turned out to be Chinese imperial ceramic pieces from Qing Dynasty (18th century) and could be worth $60,000.
The lotus and chrysanthemum jars, crafted using the “doucai” technique, will now be offered at an auction by London, UK, based auction house Roseberys Auctioneers. According to Roseberys, the seller is a ceramics collector who got the pieces at one of London’s charity shops as part of a bigger purchase.
The unnamed man later noticed an unusual inscription at the bottom of the jars and decided to do some more research. After finding out it was a Qianlong mark, he contacted experts at Roseberys, who confirmed the origin of the ceramics.
Speaking with CNN, Bill Forrest, associate director and head of Chinese, Japanese, and Southeast Asian art at Roseberys, said that Chinese imperial porcelain is extremely rare, considering it was only commissioned for the Imperial Court.
“I think anyone who is in the presence of imperial Chinese porcelain, regardless of their experience, will feel drawn to them on some level,” Forrest told the media outlet.
While the charity store will probably regret placing a low price on such valuable pieces, Forrest revealed that the seller intends to donate a portion of the money he receives for the jars.
Back in 2021, a pair of jars with the same design was sold for $350,000 at Sotheby’s. However, the ones from the charity store have slight cracks, which is why they are expected to go for a lot less.