A cobalt blue and white Chinese porcelain gourd which belonged to the 18th century Chinese Emperor Qianlong was reportedly sold for approximately $4.6 million at an auction in France on March 7. According to reports, the gourd represents an imperial dragon with five claws in search of the sacred pearl. It was sold to a Chinese buyer by telephone.
While speaking to an international media agency, Auctioneer Olivier Clair said that with the fees, the sale amounted to more than $5.5 million. He said that he found the object while executing a will in a Parisian apartment. Furthermore, Clair explained that the gourd was intended for Chinese pilgrims, however, now it has become a decorative symbol like a coronation sword.
The cobalt blue and white gourd is an object that interests the Chinese because it is their heritage. It was possibly looted during the sack of the Summer Palace by a Franco-English expeditionary force in 1860. Although, Clair reportedly said that its path to Europe was unclear.
As per reports, the gourd belonged to an old family of the paper industry which had links with the political sphere of the 19th century, possibly the relatives of Mac Mahon and Napolean III. The imperial items from the Chinese Emperor Qianlong reign (1735-1796) are particularly sought after.
Last year, a British man who bought a vase for £1 at a charity event had ended up selling it for a whooping £484,000. According to reports, the man who sold the object on eBay was unaware of the actual value of the vase until he was flooded with bids on eBay. He then took it to Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers' in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, to estimate its value.
After proper examination, experts said that the vase was made for an 18th-century emperor, Qianlong. The antique which is flat on one of its sides has a poem inscribed on it is inscribed with a poem. The words 'weijing weiyi', which translates to 'be precise, be undivided' are also inscribed in the vase.