Art Expert Fired After Appraising $8 Million Vase For Just $1,950

Lots of Chinese porcelain, blue and white porcelain, Chinese porcelain culture, ancient porcelain a lot of Chinese porcelain, qinghua porcelain, Chinese porcelain culture, ancient porcelain

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An expert art appraiser lost his job after massively undervaluing a Chinese vase. According to The Guardian, a French woman contacted the Osenat auction house to sell some items from her late mother's estate.

One of those items was a blue and white porcelain vase that was painted with dragons and clouds. It used to belong to her grandmother.

The appraiser said it was just an "ordinary" decorative vase from the 20th century and valued it at $1,950.

When the vase was put up for auction, over 300 buyers said they were interested in it. Several buyers even traveled to Paris to inspect the vase.

"They came with lamps and magnifying glasses to look at it. Obviously, they saw something," Jean-Pierre Osenat told The Guardian. "There were so many registrations [to take part in the auction online] we had to stop them. At that point, we understood something was happening."

The vase eventually sold for nearly $8 million to a buyer over the phone from China.

The auction house has no idea why the vase sold for such a high value.

"We don't know whether it [the vase] is old or not or why it sold for such a price. Perhaps we will never know," Cédric Laborde, the director of the auction house's Asian art department.

Osenat said that he fired the appraiser for making such a monumental mistake in valuing the vase.

"The expert made a mistake. One person alone against 300 interested Chinese buyers cannot be right," Osenat said. "He was working for us. He no longer works for us. It was, after all, a serious mistake."

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