French plate valued at £70 ($115) has sold for £84,000 ($138,000) after it was found to be from the court of King Louis XV. The 260-year-old porcelain dish was part of a collection of around 1,700 items made for the king and held at the Palace of Versailles. Made by master goldsmith Jean-Claude Duplessis between 1753 and 1755 at the Royal factory in Vincennes, the 13.5-inch plate was displayed in a cabinet by its elderly owner who knew nothing of its royal history and thought it was of little worth.
Even the auctioneers didn’t realise the plate’s value, saying it would fetch just £70.
Jane Brown, from Wellers Auctions in Guildford, Surrey, said: “Very little is known about the plate’s history before it came to us. It was inherited from a deceased elderly relative who we think just kept it in her china cabinet thinking it was a pretty plate but not realising its true value. We missed it at the cataloguing stage and so it initially had an estimate of £70“.
“After that, it went into a store room until we were ready to put it on display closer to the auction date. However by the time it went on view, we had a second look and realised what the plate really was. We got some second opinions from experts and they confirmed it was from the Louis XV service. It was just one of those auction miracles”.