A Rene Lalique vase that was valued at £30,000 ($48,000) has set a surprising world record at a UK auction that was held September 11.
The simple vase was used by a Northumberland, UK woman to hold flowers before being consigned to auction. After the green tide line left by the flowers was washed away, and following an intense bidding war from two American collectors, it sold for an impressive £280,000 ($451,248), setting a new world record for any Lalique vase at auction.
Consigned as part of a routine estate sale, the piece soon grabbed the attention of the auction house's Julian Thompson, who commented: "When I saw the vase it immediately caught my eye, and after consulting our ceramics expert Steven Moore, it soon become apparent that this was quite a special find."
Entitled Deux Figures Femmes Aillee (two winged female figures), the vase is one of just four of its kind ever produced by the Lalique firm. Measuring just six inches in height and created using the "lost wax" technique, it even still bears its creator's thumbprint on the base.
Steven Moore added: "Clearly the owner must have no idea what it was. Perhaps she had inherited the vase."
The previous world record for a Lalique vase at auction was held by an amber glass "serpent" model, which sold for a comparatively meagre $56,673 in 2010.
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