Loveday Antiques
Five Famous Antiques from Around the World

The majority of antiques are often quietly sold at auctions, stored away in attics and sealed inside glass cases where they will gather dust for years before being auctioned quietly or sold to someone else that will store it in an attic or place it in another glass case. It’s unfortunate that this is the destiny that most expensive antiques face, but this treatment allows them to remain unharmed and will prevent them for degrading in value. However, here are five famous antiques that were not sold quietly due to the amount that each of them sold for.


#5 – Emerald and Diamond Tiara

Sold at £7,994,484


It’s rumoured that this particular tiara was once owned by the wife of the French emperor Napoleon III, not to be confused with Bonaparte, however there is no evidence to support this claim. What we do know is that the wife of the French emperor did have a tiara very similar, but this specific tiara was first commissioned by Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck, a German prince. This particular and extraordinary tiara was a gift for the prince’s second wife, Katharina.


#4 – Moonflask in Pink and Blue Enamel with White Porcelain

Sold at £10,024,432


This piece is the fourth most expensive item ever to be auctioned although the winning bidder of this item is still unknown. This piece is believed to have been created during the Qianlong Dynasty between the years of 1736 and 1795 but was sold in 2010 at Christie’s in Hong Kong.


Although this item is very interesting due to its unusual colouring, it is not an entirely unique object. It’s thought that there is an identical moonflask kept at Tokyo’s Matsuoka Art Museum – it’s possible that these flasks were originally a pair.


#3 – Olyphant

Sold at £10,650,959


The Olyphant is an incredibly expensive battle horn that was sold at an auction in Scandinavia; not much is known about this horn other than the fact that it was crafted within the 11th century.

The horn would have originally been used as a sacred hunting horn and there are only 6 other objects of the same ornament family that are known to exist worldwide.


#2 – Badminton Cabinet

Sold at £19,045,250


This particular item has held the number one spot on the list of most expensive antiques twice and may eventually regain the number one spot.


The badminton cabinet was created in Florence, Italy during the Medici control and took approximately 6 years and 30 craftsmen to develop it. Is it any wonder that is piece fetched a whopping 19M when so much hard work was put into creating it?


Although the piece is very expensive it resides in the Liechtenstein Museum where the public can view it and appreciate its beaut.


#1 – Pinner Qing Dynasty Vase

Sold at £53,000,000


This vase is believed to date back to 1740 and was originally considered to be a fake. After several inspections from independent professionals and dealers the vase was found to be an authentic antique and was sold at an auction in the UK in 2010.


It’s incredible to think that something that was thought to be a fake could be worth so much money, especially when it was created within China. More often than not we associate China not with its level of craftsmanship or beautiful scenery but instead as a country that produces a large quantity of cheap plastic goods and distributes them worldwide.


For more information on antique furniture, painting or contemporary sculptures feel free to get in touch with us at Loveday Antiques; we’d be happy to help you in any way that we can.

Updated: 6th June 2015, 16:00
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