A RARE Chinese bowl used to hold potpourri in a living room sold at auction for more than £200,000.
The 13in-wide vessel had been made for 18th-century emperor Qianlong.
It was brought to Britain more than 100 years ago, and acquired by a solicitor who passed it to his daughter-in-law.
An auctioneer spotted the rarity when he visited the elderly owners’ home as they prepared to move.
The celadon-glazed bowl is decorated with sprays of pomegranate, peaches and lychee.
It had a pre-sale estimate of £30,000 but went for £160,000.
Fees took the total cost to £204,000.
Specialist Dan Bray, of Gorringe’s auctioneers in Lewes, East Sussex, said: “I don’t think the owners realised its significance.
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"The tell-tale sign was the Qianlong seal mark on the bottom.
“It had been beautifully drawn on, unlike reign marks you can find on later copies.
“The desirability and value for Chinese antiques has really taken off in the last 15 years due to the buying power of collectors from the country.”
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