Qing vase
This Qing blue and white vase was offered at an auction in Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire.

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The vase, just 3in (8cm) high, was part of a tray lot of otherwise modest Chinese blue and white porcelain pitched at just £30-40 at the December 7 sale.

It was identified by two bidders as a Yongzheng (1723-35) mark and period ‘melon’ form jar. Each of the six lobes is decorated with melons growing on stalks and tendrils.

A similar vase sold at Christie’s South Kensington in 2012 for a premium-inclusive £34,850. 

The price represented a huge Christmas windfall for a Leicestershire resident, who put it up for auction after a clear-out at home.

The previous house record for Shouler & Son, established in 1843, was set in the 1990s when a Georgian walnut bachelor’s chest sold for £25,000.