Tianqiuping or ‘heavenly' globe vase – estimate £100,000-150,000 at Dreweatts.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It is worked in a striking palette of gold and (slightly raised) silver against a vivid blue ground with bats and flying cranes, each holding emblems associated with the eight immortals of Daoism. The message is one of longevity and prosperity.

The vase bears a six-character mark of the Qianlong period (1736-95) and is of the period, suggesting it has an imperial past. It was purchased by a surgeon in the 1980s for a few hundred pounds and passed from the original owner to his son, who for a while, displayed it in his kitchen. Mark Newstead, specialist consultant at Dreweatts for Asian ceramics and works of art, first saw it in the 1990s.

The vendor has now decided to sell with hopes of £100,000-150,000 at Dreweatts’ auction of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art in Newbury on May 18.