A cracked vase was collecting dust in the Adams’ kitchen for 30 years. Sometimes the family put flowers in it, but most often no one paid attention to the vase. One day the Adams’ friend, an antiquary, dropped in their place. On walking into the kitchen the man fell silent, as he realized at once that the dusty vase on the shelf was worth more than the whole house.
Covered with a plain glaze with flecks of gold leaf, the vase was bought in 1960 by Michael Adams, the owner's father. Being a sought-after surgeon he collected such things as a hobby. He just liked this vase.
No one in the family had ever paid much attention to the object. It was just placed on the kitchen shelf like any other thing. And so it was until the antiques expert, Mark Newstead, dropped in for a visit.
“I entered the kitchen and was taken aback. Next to the pans, the Adams stored a real artifact, a vase decorated with images of cranes and bats. Manchu emperors ordered such vases for themselves," the antiquary recalled.
Following the expert’s advice, the family contacted the leading UK auctioneer Dreweatts. The employees of the auction evaluated the object of historical heritage at £1,2 million.
The vase was bought by representatives of the Chinese expatriate community. The family decided not to tell them that they used the imperial porcelain in the kitchen.
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