Chinese vase sells for $83 million
A woman clearing out her late sister's house sold the vase, which had been valued at 1.2 million pounds, but a Chinese bidder paid much more.
Fri, Nov 12 2010 at 6:08 AM
HIGH PRICE: Auctioneer Peter Bainbridge holds up the Bainbridges auction catalogue showing the vase that he auctioned Thursday in London. (Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
A vase that sat, little-noticed, in a modest suburban home has become one of the most expensive Asian artworks ever sold — and underlined the rapid rise of the Chinese art market.
The 18th-century Chinese vase fetched 51.6 million pounds ($83 million) at a sale by a small auction house near London.
It was sold by a woman clearing out her late sister's house, and had been valued at 1.2 million pounds.
But after fierce competition, it was bought Thursday by a Chinese bidder for many times more.
Auctioneer Peter Bainbridge, whose 8.6 million pound premium is included in the sale price, said Friday that the outcome was "a fairy tale, really."
The market for Chinese art and antiquities is buoyant, with wealthy buyers keen to repatriate treasures from their heritage.
Copyright 2010 AP News
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