Beijing, An "extremely rare" 18th Century Chinese vase bought in the 1980s for a few hundred pounds and kept in a kitchen has sold for £1,449,000.

The 2ft (60cm) blue-glazed, silver and gilt vase was created for the court of the Qianlong Emperor. Decorated with cranes and bats, it had been estimated to sell at auction for between £100,000-£150,000.

The vase was owned by a surgeon who passed it on to his son who had not realised its value. Berkshire-based Dreweatts Auctioneers said it was only when a visiting antiques specialist spotted it that its true value and history were revealed. It was sold to an international buyer on the telephone. The hammer price was £1,200,000, with the bidder paying £1,449,000 including buyer’s premium.

Mark Newstead from the auction house said: "We are delighted with this exceptional result. We saw widespread interest from China, Hong Kong, America and the UK which resulted in very competitive bidding."

The vase bears the "distinctive" six-character mark of the Qianlong period (1736-1795) on its base, the BBC news reported.

Source: Oman News & Info Agency