Antiques are collectibles that have accrued a considerable value because of their considerable age, this includes furniture, ornamental objects and works of art. Other factors that can increase the value of an antique include its rarity, beauty, utility, personal connection or conditions among many others. Whether viewed at an auction or in a tea room in Hampshire, antiques always have the power to fascinate.
To give you an example of what an antique is and just how valuable these objects can be is especially impressive.
Pinner Qing Dynasty Vase – $80.2 Million
The Pinner Qing Dynasty Vase is the most costly of all antiques in the world. It has been masterfully crafted and painted with gold, yellow and sky-blue. The 4 motifs depict fish and flowers. It also bears the imperial seal and is believed to have been crafted for Emperor Qianlong whose reign lasted from 1736 to 1795. At first, this beautiful vase was considered nothing but an attractive replica and was marketed at $1000. After a thorough re-evaluation, it was found to be an authentic item and the value was increased to $1 million. There were 18 of the vases crafted but this is the only one that has survived and no one is quite sure how it made its way from China to London.
In 2010, the Pinner Qing Dynasty Vase was displayed on sale at an auction in the United Kingdom. The beauty, rarity and history of the vase were through the roof and so the bidding was intense and competitive. In the end it was sold for $80.2 Million. The consigner received $29 million from the sale.
Badminton Cabinet – $36 Million
Among the most impressive and expensive antiques in the world is a large piece of furniture known simply as the Badminton Cabinet. This was crafted in Florence Italy during the Medici Dynasty. The cabinet was the final product of 6 years of craftsmanship by a team of 30 talented craftsmen. While the construction is made of beautiful ebony, it is also inlaid with lapis Lazuli, amethysts and other semi-precious gems and stones. The badminton cabinet is considered the finest example of French furniture. It also includes a clock that features the fleur-de-lis rather than conventional numbers. This impressive 12-foot piece of furniture has set the record for costly antiques twice already. In 1996, it was sold for $16.6 million. Then it broke the record for most expensive antique again when it was sold for $36 million in 2004. This cabinet is now a part of the collection at Lichtenstein Museum where it remains on display till this day.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester – $30.8 Million
This codex was originally purchased by the Earl of Leicester in 1719 and was subsequently named after him. Essentially, Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester is a collection of the writings of Leonardo da Vinci. It is also widely regarded as one of the most elaborate works of science. Inside can be found musings and sketches of astronomical, geographic and other theoretical topics. All of the topics found within also contain the signature of Leonardo da Vinci to verify its authenticity. This costly antique was purchased by Bill Gates at Christie’s Auction in 1994.
Olyphant Battle Horn – $16.1 Million
The Olyphant Battle Horn is a one of a kind hunting horn that dates back to the 11th century and was hand carved from ivory and decorated with intricate motifs. The horn still retains its marvellous functionality and is made from solid elephant tusks. You can see depicted in the design of its various motifs depictions of the hunt, including ducks, rabbits and deer. It was sold at a private auction in Scandinavia for $16.1 million. It is one of the rarest antiques as there are only six in existence.
White Porcelain Moonflask in Pink and Blue Enamel – $15.1 Million
Another fine addition to the list of the world’s most expensive antiques is this White Porcelain Moonflask in Pink and Blue Enamel. This beautiful antique was created at some time in the 18th century. Nevertheless, it still retains the peerless essence and nature of a 15th century item. The flask features enamel of blue, pink and white. One of the most notable features is a six character Qianlong marking. The mouth of the flask is ringed with a Ruyi band which is a mystic sign; the handles bear a dragon scroll design. This rare antique was sold at an auction in Hong Kong for $15.1 million.