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Rare Chinese vase that was kept in a West Country attic for years sells for more than half a million pounds

A Chinese vase kept in a West Country attic for years has sold at an Exeter auction for more than half a million pounds.

The rare porcelain vase was initially given an estimate of between £20,000 - £40,000 after it was examined over a three-month period.

But at an auction in Exeter on Wednesday 30th January it went under the hammer for £460,000, more than ten times its estimate.

With additional fees added, the total came to nearly £600,000.

The owner, who lives in the West Country, stored the vase in their attic for years. Credit: Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood

The owner, who lives in the West Country, was apparently unaware of the vase's rarity and kept it in the attic for years.

According to auctioneers Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood, the owner is "understandably delighted".

The blue and white piece comes with an 18th century Qianlong rein mark with finely painted foliage.

The auctioneers said it was in an "excellent" condition apart from a small chip on one of the handles.