A Chinese vase discovered during a routine house clearance in a London suburb sold for 51.6 million pounds on Thursday, said to be an auction record for any work of art from Asia.
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 on 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 on 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.