'Antiques Roadshow' guest tearful after Chinese vase valued at up to £50,000

Amy Johnson
·2 min read

Watch: Antiques Roadshow guest overwhelmed by vase valuation

An Antiques Roadshow guest was overcome with emotion on the programme after their Chinese vase was revealed to be worth up to £50,000.

On Sunday's episode – the second of two held at Christchurch Park in Ipswich – one contributor brought along the centuries-old item to show expert Alexandra Aguilar.

They said it had been handed down from their grandparents to their parents before making its way to them.

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Aguilar went about discussing the history of the porcelain piece, noting that while it was Chinese, it was inspired by Middle Eastern shapes.

 Alexandra Aguilar gave her expert valuation. (BBC)
Alexandra Aguilar gave her expert valuation. (BBC)

"In the early Ming dynasty the Emperor wanted his kilns to produce these type of vases which were inspired by pilgrims flasks that came from the region around Iran," she said.

Observing the design, which included a five clawed dragon, a pearl of wisdom and bats, Aguilar said it was typical of the Qianlong reign in the 18th century.

At the time, she said, it would have been rejected as not being good enough for the Emperor due to several imperfections and thus was not finished – but it still comes with an impressive price tag.

"There are a few stains, a few dots, it's still a very rare thing, so at auction it would probably be worth £30-£50,000," Aguilar declared.

The vase was deemed to be an 18th century piece. (BBC)
The vase was deemed to be an 18th-century piece. (BBC)

Taken aback, the guest tearfully replied: "That's still shockingly surprising, I thought you were going to say 30 to 50 quid!"

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"I'm surprised, I'm nearly speechless," they went on as Aguilar replied: "I'm sorry, I didn't want to make you cry!"

The expert went on to give her valuation of the vase if it had been finished with overglaze enamel at £2 million to £4 million.

The Antiques Roadshow guest was brought to tears. (BBC)
The Antiques Roadshow guest was brought to tears. (BBC)

In a piece to camera, the contributor added: "I was totally surprised, as soon as you get into big figures, to me that's a big figure for something I didn't think had much value I hadn't really thought about it. Sometimes perhaps you don't really want to know if it's worth a lot of money because it can change things.

"If you'd said it was over a thousand pounds I would've been thrilled."

Antiques Roadshow continues on Sunday at 7pm on BBC One.