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The Chinese porcelain wucai fish vase was estimated to fetch between £1 200 – 1 800 after being catalogued as a copy. However, the piece sold for 450 times its guide price after eagle-eyed bidders from around the global spotted that it was made during the reign of Emperor Jiajing of the Chinese Ming dynasty who ruled from 1521 to 1567.

Bidders in the salesroom, on the telephone and online all battled it out for the vase.

Fellows Senior specialist, Mark Huddleston said: "Two buyers in the room battled each other strongly before, at around the £600,000 mark, the final telephone left standing sparked into life. There was a lot of interest through the online bidding platforms as well.''

Huddleston explained: ''We examined the decoration to the collar and felt that it lacked sophistication of these early pieces. Whilst we dealt with a number of condition enquiries before the sale, little could have prepared us for the result. Bidding began at £1,000 and, with a handful of telephone bidders plus the usual hundreds online, predicting the final price became impossible. The most gratifying aspect is that a number of bidders were actually in the saleroom and had viewed it in person. One bidder even flew in from Japan and has a number of these in his collection.''

The £810 000 hammer price set a record for the Birmingham-based house, which was established in 1876.