An antique is a collectible object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its considerable age. Aside from age, other factors such as beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and other unique features are considered when giving value to the item. Antiques are bought at antique shops, auction houses, online auctions, estate sales, and other venues. The following are the world’s most expensive antiques.
Pinner Qing Dynasty Vase – $80.2 million
Pinner Qing Dynasty Vase is by far the most expensive sold antique in the whole world. The vase is decorated with gold, pastel yellow and sky-blue, and has 4 motifs including fishes and flowers. It also bears the imperial seal and is believed to have been crafted for Emperor Qianlong, who reigned between 1736 and 1795. At first, it was thought to be a nice replica and valued at only $1000. After reevaluation, it was determined to be authentic and was reappraised at $1 million. Accordingly, there were 18 of this vase but this is the only one that is left. How it got to London from China is still a mystery.
The vase was exhibited to be sold at an auction in the United Kingdom in 2010 and because of its purity, beauty, history, and rareness, the bidding went over the top and was finally sold for $80.2 million. The original consigner received $29 million from the sale.
Badminton Cabinet – $36 million
Among the world’s most expensive antiques that were sold is the badminton cabinet made in Florence during the Medici dynasty. The cabinet took 6 years to make, made by a team composed of 30 craftsmen. Decorated with precious stones like lapis Lazuli, amethysts, ebony and other semi-precious gems, the cabinet is considered as one of the finest pieces of French furniture. The 12-foot tall cabinet also includes a clock with fleurs-de-lis for numbers. This piece of antique furniture twice set records for most expensive sale. In 1990 it sold for $16.6 million and in 2004 it sold for $36 million. The cabinet is now owned by the Lichtenstein Museum where it is on public display.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester – $30.8 million
The codex was named after the earl of Leicester who purchased the document in 1719. It is a collection of scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci and considered as his most famous and significant work. The codex is also regarded as an elaborate work of science and contains theories, sketches and musings on astronomy, geography, the elements and several scientific topics. All the topics in the document have da Vinci’s signature which proves that it is authentic. Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester was purchased by Bill gates at a Christie’s auction in 1994.
Olyphant Battle Horn – $16.1 million
The Olyphant hunting horn dates back to the 11th century and traditionally handcrafted from carved ivory and decorated with detailed motifs. This fully functioning battle horn is made from an elephant’s tusk and intricately carved with motifs of animals of the hunt, including rabbits, ducks, and deer. It was sold for $16.1 million at a private auction in Scandinavia. The Olyphant Battle Horn is extremely rare as there are only six such horns exist in the world.
White Porcelain Moonflask in Pink and Blue Enamel – $15.1 million
In addition to the list of the world’s most expensive antiques is the White Porcelain Moonflask in Pink and Blue Enamel. This flask was crafted in the 18th century but carries the 15th-century peerless essence and nature. The flask is enameled in pink blue and white and features a unique Qianlong 6 character mark. The handles are of the dragon scroll design and the mouth of the flask is ringed with a ruyi band. The Moonflask was last sold in Hong Kong at an auction in 2010 for $15.1 million.