Transitional porcelain vase – £15,000 at Gardiner Houlgate.

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Accompanying it was a copy of a Sotheby’s catalogue dated May 11, 1954 in which it appeared as part of the collection of Chinese porcelain from Mrs BZ Seligman. It was bought by an ancestor of the vendor for £40.

The 6¼in (16cm) high vase, decorated with lotus flowers and two dragons pursuing flaming pearls in underglaze blue and copper red, is marked in blue to the base for Tien Chi, one of the last of the Ming emperors who ruled from 1621-27, and was deemed of the period. With a small hairline to the rim, it sold at £15,000.