The vase, one of the most expensive pieces of Asian art ever, was sold by a woman who was clearing out the home of her late sister, The Associated Press said.
Auctioneer Peter Bainbridge will reap a premium of 8.6 million pounds, included in the selling price. He normally makes a living selling cheap antiques and equipment such as lawnmowers, according to Antiques Trade Gazette.
The 16-inch vase is from the 18th century and was likely commissioned for the Qianlong Emporer for his summer palace or the Forbidden City.
An anonymous Chinese bidder purchased the vase. Through his agent, the bidder said that nothing this beautiful had been seen outside China in a very long time.