Vase Found in Attic Sells for $69M
Neglected item makes family millionaires
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2010 4:48 PM CST
This undated photo released by Bainbridge Auctioneers shows the top of a Chinese vase which was sold for 43 million pounds ($69.3 million) in London Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010.   (AP Photo / Bainbridge Auctioneers ho, via PA)
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(Newser) – A Chinese vase found by an English family in the attic has sold for $69 million at auction, the Telegraph reports. A brother and sister from Middlesex found it while cleaning out their deceased parents' house. "It is a masterpiece," says one expert, a perfect example of a rare design dating from the Qianlong period of about 1740.

The auctioneer Bainbridges figured the vase would sell for about $1.6 million, but a frenzied bidding war between what were assumed to be prominent Chinese businessmen pushed the value into the stratosphere over the last half hour. While the vase is certainly valuable, experts say the auction yielded a "freak price"—reflecting the growing disposable income of the Chinese business elite. The sellers have gone into hiding while they figure out what to do with the money. Click here for more.