Experts have identified the find as an exquisite porcelain vessel made for the 18th century Qing dynasty Emperor Qianlong and the guide price for its auction on June 12 starts at a modest 500,000 euros ($590,000).
It was found by chance among dozens of other pieces of Chinoiserie.
"We didn't like the vase too much, and my grandparents didn't like it either," said the owner of the piece, who got in touch with Sotheby's auction house three months ago.
It is also said to be in perfect condition.
The only other similar vase that has come to light, though without the cranes, is in the Guimet museum of Asiatic arts in Paris.
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