It's not $136 million in art, but it's not an ex-boyfriend, either. Rather, the latest attic find is a perfect condition Chinese vase from the 18th-century Qing dynasty. Its owners took the vase, reportedly made for the Qianlong Emperor, to be appraised at Sotheby's three months ago after finding it stashed in a shoebox in the attic of their French home, reports CNN. Sotheby's says the vase of Famille Rose or yangcai porcelain, known for its soft color palette and Western influence, is "the only known example of its kind." But "we didn't like the vase too much, and my grandparents didn't like it either," one of the owners, whose grandparents were left the vase and several other pieces of Chinese and Japanese art by an uncle, tells AFP. They might like it more now, with Sotheby's predicting it will sell for up to $850,000 at an auction next month.
"The finest porcelain pieces, with a direct connection to the Emperor Qianlong himself, are the most desirable pieces of Chinese art" as they date to when the wealth of the Chinese empire "was the envy of the world," Henry Howard-Sneyd of Sotheby’s tells ArtNet News. "When that piece is discovered out of the blue and is still in perfect condition, the trifecta is scored," he adds. The Qianlong Emperor ruled China from 1735 to 1796, and a release notes two pairs of vases with a similar design as the newly-discovered vase were commissioned in 1765 and 1769. The vase to be sold in Paris on June 12 features deer and cranes, symbols of health and longevity, amid a landscape of trees and a waterfall, likely a representation of a Chinese imperial park. (A Qing dynasty sword was found, then used as a kitchen knife.)