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Pair of rare Chinese vases sell in London for 14 million pounds

By Du Xiaoying in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-10 00:53

Pair of rare Chinese vases sell in London for 14 million pounds

A magnificent pair of famille rose “butterfly” double-gourd vases from the Qing Dynasty. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A pair of rare Chinese famille rose vases from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) sold for 13 million pounds ($16.8 million) at Christie's auction house in London on Tuesday, making it one of the Top 10 most-expensive Chinese ceramics sold at auction.

"The buyer of the vases wishes to remain anonymous," said Katy Griffiths, communications officer at Christie's London.

The telephone bidder will pay 14.73 million pounds,once commission and taxes are added, which is more than seven times the auction house's initial estimate. It predicted they might sell for 2 million pounds.

Bidders with deep pockets holding special red cards were the only ones allowed to bid for the vases. Sources said they each had to put up a one million pound refundable deposit before the auction began.

The draw-dropping sale was the second-highest for a Chinese work of art sold at Christie's in London.

The vases, made in the 18th century for the court of the Qianlong Emperor, were purchased in the early 1930s by an English buyer who passed them on to the current owner who "had no idea that she had such amazingly important pieces in her collection", according to Rosemary Scott, the Chinese ceramics specialist at Christie's.

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