£2 charity shop buy makes £21K

8th century cloisonné period tripod censerA charity shop trinket that was bought for £2 turns out to be a Chinese rarity worth a staggering £21,000.

As a late entry consigned to John Nicholson’s Oriental sale on December 16th, the 18th century cloisonné period tripod censer rose above its pre-auction estimate of £5,000-£8,000.

From the reign of the Qianlong emperor, see as the zenith of Chinese cultural development, the piece weighs 445gm. Its sides are decorated with formal scrolling lotus reserved on a turquoise ground. The base has scroll stemmed flowerheads encircling a gilded square plaque incised with a four-character Qianlong mark above a single character.


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