A Chinese vase valued at 1,200 euros (£1,050) has shocked its owner by selling for nearly three quarters of a million euros at an Irish auction.
The 18th Century vase, which dates back to the Qing dynasty, was bought by a bidder based in France for 740,000 euros (£647,000).
Auctioneers, Sheppard’s, said they believed it was the highest ever price for an art object at an Irish auction.
It is not known how the vase ended up in the Republic of Ireland.
Irish broadcaster, RTÉ, reported that it would have been “given as a prestigious gift by the Chinese emperor to an important visitor”.
The 23cm (9in) double gourd vase was auctioned in Durrow, County Laois, on Saturday.
The item is considered to be extremely rare and it sparked an international bidding war involving collectors from more than 40 countries.