LONDON, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- A rare Chinese Imperial vase picked for less than 13 U.S. dollars at a car boot sale in England sold at an auction Tuesday for almost 76,000 U.S. dollars.
Auctioneers Woolley and Wallis had given the enamel small "quail and millet" vase a estimated value of between 25,000 U.S. dollars and 37,300 U.S. dollars.
But it went under the hammer at the company's auction house in Salisbury Tuesday for double the upper estimate, selling for just over 75,856 U.S. dollars.
The seller had bought the item at a car boot sale in a small seaport town in Hampshire for just 10 pounds (12.46 U.S. dollars) and only realised he may have struck gold when he put it up for sale on the e-bay sales site.
Experts at the auction house said vase had the four character Qianlong mark of the period 1736-95. It is thought to have been made at Beijing's Imperial Palace more than two centuries ago.
The sales book described the vase as a having a slender pear-shaped body painted with two quails beneath millet and blue rocks on an Imperial yellow ground beneath a border of small blue ruyi heads and a central gilded collar.
The cylindrical neck with a formal flower and leaf scroll on a pink ground, together with, and attached to, a hexagonal enamel base painted with further flower heads and leaf scrolls on a yellow ground raised on six lingzhi-shaped feet, the remains of a paper label, the vase 12cm, 20cm (overall).
Woolley and Wallis's Asian art expert John Axford confirmed the vase bore the four-character Qianlong mark - the sixth emperor of the Qing dynasty - and would have been made by imperial command in the palace workshop between 1736 and 1795.
The auctioneers said the seller of the vase did not wish to reveal his identity.