Famille-Rose porcelain vase

When the porcelain vase was found in a box in the attic of a small house in the French countryside, it had been hidden away for a quite a while. It had come to the family when the owner's grandparents inherited the vase after a relative's death in 1947.

So they rolled the find in a piece of newspaper, put it in a shoe box and got on the train to Sotheby's in Paris. When it arrived, the auction house’s experts received a bit of a shock.

Vase, yangcai. Picture: Sothebys Vase, Yangcai. Picture: Sotheby's

This was no cheap souvenir but a Yangcai’ Famille-Rose porcelain vase. More precisely a Yangcai created in the royal workshops of Jingdezhen during the Qianlong period (1736-1795). The design is called ‘tour de force’ with detailed decoration of floral motifs and idyllic landscape scenes.

Sotheby's estimate price was between SEK 5 and 7 million. A bit of a laugh, considering that the club finally fell at an outstanding 140 million SEK.

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Omega Speedmaster 2915-1

The market for wrist watches continues to increase and it is not surprising when a watch hits auction records.

What's more exciting is when an untouched, unprecedented, world-wide Omega Speedmaster 2915-1 is excavated out of an attic. The wristwatch, sold at Bukowski's in 2017, was discovered when the owner's son, unaware of its value, found the watch in a small box in the attic.

Omega Speedmaster 2915-1. Picture: Bukowskis Omega Speedmaster 2915-1. Picture: Bukowskis

The auction included about ten bidders from different parts of the world. The final price ended at 2 266 250 SEK, which broke not only Bukowskis auction records but also a new world record for a clock from Omega.

Read more about Omega here

Marie Krøyer's artworks 

About twenty years ago a collection of close to sixty previously unknown paintings and drawings of Danish artist Marie Krøyer was found in an attic in Dalarna.

Krøyer was a promising young artist who laid down her brushes shortly after she married the successful Skagen painter Peder Severin Krøyer. Instead, she became his most distinguished model and her beauty became famous throughout the country. After her painting years, there were only around 20 famous works.

Nude woman, pastel chalk, painted around 1885 by Marie Krøyer Nude woman, pastel chalk, painted around 1885 by Marie Krøyer

The marriage became turbulent and she soon left Denmark for Tällberg. With her, she took with her artworks and legacy.

When the art treasure was found in the attic in Dalarna it had been there for over 40 years and overnight the Danish art history had been rewritten.

Sunset in Montmajour by Vincent van Gogh

It was during a rummaging of the attic in 2013 at the home of a Norwegian art collector the oil painting was discovered. The canvas had been procured by the industrialist Christian Nicolai Mustad in 1908, who rejected it as believing that it was a fake that he had bought.

The sunset in Montmajour was painted in 1888 during the same period as his acclaimed Sunflowers and the Bedroom. The painting is today verified as a true van Gogh after thorough examination but above all thanks to the letter from July 4, 1888, where Vincent himself described the work.

Sunset in Montmajour. Picture: Barneby's Sunset in Montmajour. Picture: Barnebys

Montmajour's sunset had not attracted much in auction winnings, but a lot in visiting revenues at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, where the painting is now displayed.

A dusty Rembrandt

This story begins in a basement of a client of a small auction house in Bloomfield, New York. The owner of the house stood rummaging among old porcelain and rubbish when he was asked if he could sell the small dusty painting hanging on the wall next door. He could absolutely do that but made a modest call.

The painting drew some attention and two particularly interested bidders raised the price of the painting from $250 to $870,000.

Found Rembrandt van Rijn. Picture: Barneby's Found Rembrandt van Rijn. Picture: Barnebys

The painting was known as ‘Triple portrait with lady fainting. Continental School, 19th Century. Oil on panel, unsigned'. But when a conservator of the art dealers Talabardon & Gautier washed out dirt and dissolved old yellowed varnishes, the monogram signature RHF appeared in the upper right corner.

After careful examinations of the artwork, it was confirmed that the painting was signed by the hugely significant and well-known artist Rembrandt van Rijn. A sensational story but also a big win. From a $250 call in New York, it is said that the painting was sold to the Leiden Museum for just over 3 million euros.

The discovery is one of five paintings that describe our senses. Previously, we know three in Rembrandt's collection - hearing, touch and sight. The last find represents smell. This means that the fifth sense, taste, is still lost.

Who knows, maybe it will appear on Barnebys sometime in the future.

Is your attic find a treasure? Barnebys valuation service can give you the answer.