Rare Chinese 'teapot' found in Derbyshire garage may fetch £100,000 at auction

A teapot-like object uncovered in a Derbyshire garage has been described as the ‘ultimate lockdown find’ and is worth tens of thousands of pounds.
Hansons valuer Edward Rycroft with the imperial Chinese wine ewer.Hansons valuer Edward Rycroft with the imperial Chinese wine ewer.
Hansons valuer Edward Rycroft with the imperial Chinese wine ewer.

The rare imperial Chinese wine ewer, which resembles a teapot and dates back to the Qianlong period (1735-99), stunned experts at Hansons Auctioneers when it was taken for valuation.

The tiny 15cm object is due to be sold on September 24 with an estimate of £20,000 to £40,000. But such is the demand for imperial works of art from wealthy Chinese buyers, it could make £100,000.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “This has to be the best lockdown find ever. It is such an exciting discovery, an imperial 18th century wine ewer which would have graced a palace in China and was, perhaps, handled by Emperor Qianlong, considered by some to be the greatest Chinese emperor.

Imperial Chinese wine ewer.Imperial Chinese wine ewer.
Imperial Chinese wine ewer.

“Two almost identical teapots, both with Qianlong reign marks, exist in the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan, and the Palace Museum in Beijing, China.

"It’s truly astonishing to find an emperor’s wine ewer in a Derbyshire home, an object used to serve warm wine during important ceremonies.”

The wine ewer, which has a rectangular form, is brightly decorated on a lemon-yellow ground with colourful blooming peonies in hues of pinks, blues and purples.

The rare Qianlong period object is due to be sold on September 24 at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire. To find out more, email [email protected].