A porcelain bowl that languished on a shelf for years “shocked and delighted” its owner by selling for more than £200,000.
The blue and white bowl was taken to an auctioneer in Bath by its owner as they prepared to move house.
Experts realised it was extremely rare and dated from the reign of the Chinese Emperor Yong Zheng (1722-1735).
The bowl was given an estimate of £20,000-30,000 but sold to a Chinese buyer for £220,000.
Ivan Street, from Aldridges of Bath, said the client had “no idea” of the bowl’s true value.
“She knew it was a lovely thing but no more than that,” said Mr Street.
Emperor Yong Zheng had a very short reign meaning the best quality pieces from that time are rare, Mr Street said.
“The sale surpassed all expectations,” he added.