Rare cups sell for over £11k after owner nearly threw them away

Laura Hampson
·2-min read
Two antique cups that were nearly thrown away sold at an auction for over £11,000 (SWNS)
Two antique cups that were nearly thrown away sold at an auction for over £11,000 (SWNS)

Two rare cups, that were nearly thrown away by the owner, have sold for over £11,000 at auction.

The two Chinese Doucai porcelain cups were produced by the Imperial kiln during the reign of Emperor Youngzheng (1723-35).

Lady Sally Peel was the owner of the cups. Peel is the widow of Sir John Peel - who served as Surgeon-Gynaecologist to Queen Elizabeth II from 1961-1973 and died aged 101 in 2005.

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They were sold by The Auction Hub last week, where a flurry of activity from the UK, China and Spain forced the price up to £11,640.

Up until recently, the 18th century cups were sitting on the mantelpiece at Peel’s home. She said she dusted them occasionally but had no idea of their value.

A six-figure mark in Chinese script shows the date and origin (SWNS)
A six-figure mark in Chinese script shows the date and origin (SWNS)

Peel said: “I never knew where they had come from - a grateful patient, most probably. I just dusted them occasionally and thought what a shame it was that one of them had a chip.”

When Peel was packing up the home she almost threw the cups away but her sister persuaded her not to.

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Auction Hub founder James Harvey who helped sell some of her possession spotted their potential value.

The Auction Hub listing said: "What is particularly remarkable about these extraordinarily delicate, hand painted pieces - whose most likely purpose would have been as ceremonial wine cups - is the reign mark on their underside, a six-figure mark in Chinese script which bears accurate testimony to their date and origin."

Harvey added that he was “absolutely delighted” with the result.

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Peel said that as long as she had known her late husband, the two small enamelled porcelain Chinese cups had sat on the mantelpiece of their home.

Peel, who married Sir John in 1993, added: “He lived an extraordinary life and lots of it was lived without me.”

Additional reporting SWNS.

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