TULSA, Okla. – A rare, centuries-old Chinese vase that was once in storage at an Oklahoma museum has sold at auction for $14.5 million in Hong Kong.
The porcelain vase was given to the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa in 1960 and was part of the museum’s permanent collection, though it was kept in storage for more than a decade.
The vase is believed to have been commissioned in the early 1700s by Emperor Qianlong. It’s known as a tianquiping, or celestial sphere vase, and had been estimated at $9 million to $11 million ahead of Wednesday’s auction.
Museum director Scott Stulen tells the Tulsa World that proceeds from the sale will go into a restricted endowment that will fund the acquisition of more artwork.