A chipped Chinese dish used to keep spare change in has turned out to be a rare antique worth an estimated £100,000.
The floral blue and white decorated bowl carries the Chinese Yongzheng mark of the period 1723-1735.
It was discovered on a sideboard in a house in London and the owner had no idea of it’s true value.
The dish, which has a small chip on the rim, was originally bought at a country house sale in 1920.
It is now expected to fetch up to £100,000 when it goes under the hammer on Saturday (8/9).
Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: “I found the dish recently.
“It was languishing on a sideboard in a London home along with various 19th century Japanese ceramics.
“It’s a remarkable find. The vendor had no idea of its potential value. The object was purchased from a country house sale in the 1920s.
“Interest has reached boiling point this week – the eve of the auction. We’ve had huge interest from potential buyers in China who are keen to find out more or bid.
“I would like to think that this newly-discovered beautiful Chinese object could do well even though it has a chip on the rim.
“Its striking reverse decoration with raised slip detailing is inspired by the Ming and Yuan ceramics of the preceding dynasties.
“Similar examples are held by major museums around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Nezu Museum in Tokyo.
“This dish has a rim chip and some minor surface scratches to the glaze on the bowl but that is in no way deterring interest.
“The Chinese market is booming as the country’s growing numbers of wealthy collectors flock to repatriate what they regard as their history and heritage.
“They are prepared to pay huge prices for the privilege, frequently outbidding western collectors.
“Some Chinese buyers tell me they feel their past has been looted from them.
“By buying back their most celebrated porcelains and works of art, pieces often intended for an emperor, they acquire great kudos.”
The dish is being sold by Hansons Auctioneers in London.