A small Chinese vase that was discovered in Co.Carlow and valued at around $100 was sold at auction yesterday for $500,000 (£240,000) in Bonhams in London.

The porcelain vase which was found in Carlow, was a blue and white 11inch-high ceramic piece which dates back to the Qianlong period of the 18th century. Last March it was sold at Sheppard’s Irish Auction House in Durrow, Co Laois for $149,000 (€110,000 ) but had originally been valued by the auction house for a mere $100.

Yesterday a Chinese buyer snapped up the original design which according to the catalog had been “acquired in Philadelphia in the 1940s-1950s, by repute”.

It is believed a Carlow family inherited the vase from two sisters who had emigrated to the U.S. and acquired a collection  of Oritental ceramics.

Meanwhile at another auction in Ruislip, west London a 16-inch-high vase was sold for a whopping  $85.4m (£53.1 m). The ornate Chinese vase was made during the reign of Emperor Qianlong also.