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Chinese vase fetches record $69m in UK auction

11-12-2010 14:53 BJT

LONDON - A Chinese vase discovered during a routine house clearance in a London suburb sold for 43 million pounds ($69 million) on Thursday, 40 times its estimate and an auction record for any work of art from Asia, the auctioneer that sold it said.

This undated photo released by Bainbridge
Auctioneers shows a Chinese vase which
was sold for 43 million pounds ($69.3
million) in London Thursday, Nov. 11,

"It's a world record for a piece of Asian art," said Helen Porter of West London auction house Bainbridges.

The hammer price did not include 20 percent in fees and taxes.

Auctioneers said the vase was bought by a Chinese bidder who turned up to bid on behalf of an undisclosed buyer after firece competition among Chinese buyers.

"It (the bidding) went on for half an hour. We don't know exactly who the buyer is. I believe they're buying on behalf of someone, but I believe they're Chinese," said Helen Porter.

According to the auctioneer, the vase dates from the 1740s from the Qianlong period, would have resided in the Chinese Royal Palace and was fired in the imperial kilns.

The auctioneer said it was a mystery how the 16-inch high piece ended up in London. Its provenance was described simply as belonging to an English family collection, probably acquired during the 1930s.

"It is a masterpiece," the auction house wrote in its blog before the sale. "If only it could talk!"

Earlier on Thursday, a white jade dragon seal which belonged to the Chinese Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799), sold for 2.7 million pounds at auction house Bonhams.

The four centimetre-square seal, which was expected to fetch 1.5-2.0 million pounds, was bought by an unidentified Chinese buyer from Beijing.

In October, auction house Sotheby's sold a Chinese Qing dynasty vase for $32.4 million and their Asian auction series of art, jewellery, wine and watches in Hong Kong raised $400 million.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: China Daily

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