From Charity Shop to Auction: Chinese Jars Bought for £20 Sell for £60,000

…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media. Pots of Cash! Chinese Jars Purchased for £20 at a Charity Shop Fetch £60,000 at Auction


A remarkable story unfolds as a pair of Chinese jars, initially bought for a mere £20 at a charity shop, have been sold at auction for an astounding £60,000.

The vendor, a keen collector of ceramics, stumbled upon the doucai porcelain pieces while browsing through a London charity shop.

Although the jars caught their eye due to their aesthetic appeal, the true value of the items remained unknown at the time of purchase.

Discovery of Hidden Value:

The true worth of the jars came to light when the vendor sought the expertise of local auctioneers.

It was then revealed that the jars were crafted in the Qing dynasty Imperial kilns during the 18th century.


These revelations added tremendous value to the items, leading to an intense bidding war during the auction.

Astonishing Sale Price:

The jars commanded a hammer price of £46,000, and when the auctioneer’s fees were added, the final sum paid by the undisclosed buyer reached £59,800.

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This astounding figure stands as a testament to the jars’ value, as they fetched a staggering 3,000 times the amount originally paid by the vendor.

Generosity towards Charity:

Although the vendor prefers to remain anonymous, they have expressed their intention to contribute a substantial portion of the sale proceeds to the undisclosed charity.

This act of philanthropy demonstrates their appreciation for the charitable cause and adds a heartwarming touch to the story.

Auctioneer’s Perspective:


Bill Forrest, the auctioneer at Roseberys, reflected on similar stories and expressed initial sadness regarding missed opportunities for charities.

However, in this particular case, the vendor’s lack of awareness regarding the jars’ value led to a different outcome.

The vendor, an enthusiast of ceramics, possessed an extensive collection of such items and saw the jars as decorative pieces.

Learning about their true worth, they made the decision to share a significant portion of the proceeds with the charity, which resonated positively with Forrest.

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The Jars’ Characteristics and Significance:

The jars, standing at a height of 4.5 inches, feature intricate underglaze blue paintings and vibrant enamels in red, yellow, and green.

They exhibit roundels adorned with flower heads and leafy lotus meanders, with a crucial detail being the presence of the Qianlong six-character seal mark.

These characteristics further elevate their historical and artistic value.


Expertise and Diligence:

The auctioneer emphasized the importance of specialists in distinguishing valuable items from the vast array of donations received by charity shops.

While acknowledging the prevalence of counterfeit items, Forrest stressed the necessity of conducting thorough research and due diligence.

However, his extensive knowledge of Imperial porcelain convinced him of the authenticity and exceptional craftsmanship of the 18th-century jars, aligning with the implications of the seal mark.


The extraordinary journey of these Chinese jars, purchased for a meager amount and sold for a significant sum, highlights the importance of expertise, unexpected discoveries, and the potential for philanthropic acts.

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The remarkable value of these items serves as a reminder of the hidden treasures that can be found even in the most unlikely of places.

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About the Author:

Judah Olanisebee is a talented writer and journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria. He is a valuable contributor to TDPel Media, where he creates compelling content that informs and engages readers. Judah is passionate about covering a wide range of topics, from current events and politics to technology and business. His writing style is characterized by its clarity, concision, and attention to detail, making his articles a pleasure to read. Judah’s commitment to providing accurate and timely information to his readers has earned him a reputation as a trusted source of news and analysis. When he’s not writing, Judah enjoys spending time with his family, reading books, and exploring the vibrant city of Lagos.


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