This blue and white bottle vase with Daoguang seal mark made £270,000 at Gorringe’s.

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Estimated at just £500-800 at the December 3 auction, bidding for the vase began online and in the room before the successful buyer from mainland China secured it on the phone.

Gorringe’s Dan Bray said he was cautious in his estimate because the 11½in (29cm) vase, painted with auspicious objects including lotus and bats, had come from a private collection with little in the way of provenance.

However, a number of interested parties travelled to the saleroom and studied the vase at great length ahead of the auction.

Bray said many buyers from China were convinced it was of the period and “it became fairly clear a good number of people thought it was right,” he added. The price (close to £340,000 once the 25.2% buyer’s premium inc VAT is added) is an impressive sum for a piece from the Daoguang period, the era that marks the beginning of the end for the Qing dynasty.