A 79-year-old British retired worker wanted the press to not publish his name, but walked into an auction house with an almost perfect Ming vase in a card-board box.
The Dorchester auction house, Duke’s, were amazed by what they called the “spectacular find.”
“When my colleague initially showed me what had arrived in a cardboard box I could not believe my eyes,” Guy Schwinge of Duke’s told the Guardian. “The vase is in perfect condition, and it is amazing to think that it has survived unscathed for almost six hundred years.”
The BBC reported that the vase, which stands 11.5 inches tall, is the largest ever found of a rare group of early Ming “moonflasks” whose production dates somewhere between the years 1403 and 1424. It was manufactured during the reign of an emperor named Yongle, and its distinctive features such as the small loop handles appear to be influenced by Islamic design.
The auction is scheduled for May, and the item is expected to bring at least a million pounds, or somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.6 million United States dollars.
How the man came to be in possession of the vase is not known.