- Shen Yun
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 according to the auctioneer.
Peter Bainbridge, owner of Bainbridge's auction house, said the sale room was packed for the auction.
[Peter Bainbridge, Auctioneer]:
"It was a very, very lovely atmosphere. The sale room was full to the brim, you could hardly move, there was a great anticipation in the air. The bidding started at a really good price, at 500,000 pounds, progressed gently up to the million, and then romped, slowly romped but surely to 43 million."
The sale highlights the intense and growing competition among wealthy Chinese buyers for rare pieces of their heritage, and anything associated with imperial China appears to be particularly attractive.
Antiques expert Ivan Macquisten from Antiques Trader Gazette said that there were many people in the auction keen to acquire the rare artifact, which was why the price kept rising.
[Ivan Macquisten, Antiques Expert]:
"Even when it was getting into the relatively high millions, you still had eight to ten serious bidders bidding it up, which is why it went to such a high price. This wasn't somebody just going berserk or anything like that – this was serious proper bidding."
The vase dates from the Qianlong period in the 1740s. An auctioneer said there is no doubt it originally sat in the Chinese Royal Palace and was fired in the imperial kilns.