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  1. ITV Report

Unknown vase worth millions

The vase sold at Duke's Auction House in Dorchester

A Ming vase thought to be worth £4 million has sold for a fraction of that price - after it was unwittingly turned into a lamp.

Not knowing it's full value, the owner took what he believed to be a table lamp to auction, coming away with £550, 000.

Metal fittings had previously been added to the top, and a wooden base obscured the six-character mark of Emperor Xuande.

It's thought it would have been used as an incense burner during ceremonial events during the emperor's reign between 1425 and 1435.

Although the piece's two halves have been roughly cut together, the item quickly shot up to hundreds of thousands of pounds at Duke's Auction House in Dorchester, but experts believe it could have fetched up to £4 million without the damage.

The vase stands 15 and a half inches tall, and is decorated in a style associated with high quality Ming porcelaine - including leafy tendrils and swirls.

Metal finishes had been added to the vase Credit: Duke's Auction House
A wooden base obscured the six-character mark of Emperor Xuande Credit: Duke's Auction House