A Chinese vase that sat, little-noticed, in a suburban London home has become one of the most expensive artworks ever sold, evidence that China's sizzling art market shows no signs of cooling down.
The 18th-century porcelain vase, sold by a family clearing out a deceased relative's house, went to a Chinese buyer for 51.6 million pounds ($83 million) - more than 40 times the pre-sale estimate and a record for a Chinese work of art.
For Peter Bainbridge, a small independent auctioneer who specialises in house clearance sales, Thursday's result was an extremely pleasant shock.
"How do you anticipate the Chinese market?" he wondered. "It's totally on fire."
Image: Auctioneer Peter Bainbridge holds up the Bainbridges auction catalogue showing the vase that he auctioned in London.
Text: Jill Lawless, AP
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