TWO huge Chinese vases are expected to fetch £70,000 when they go up for auction.

The five foot high Cantonese pieces, which belonged to a family in Harrogate, are expected to attract keen interest from Oriental markets when they go under the hammer at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire tomorrow (Friday, July 25).

Traditional Chinese works of art have been fetching large sums of money in the past ten years, partly because the Chinese government has been buying back good quality pieces of art for new, regional cultural centres being set up across the country.

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Last year a 20cm high Chinese, Ming-style vase fetched £950,000 at Tennants Auction House. The 18th century piece was sold to a private collector in mainland China.

Although the giant vases have less historic value, Tennants auctioneer and associate director Nigel Smith said there was currently a market in the Far East for dramatic items.

“The Chinese are buying back these things because they are buying things that are dramatic and look the part; the new Chinese taste is for flash,” he said.

“They’re buying big, impressive pieces even though these were created for European markets.”

The giant vases were made in the Far East in 1840 for the export market and were on display in the drawing room of Cliff Castle, near Keighley, West Yorkshire, before being brought by a family in the 1970s.