It was a battle of the riches at Bainbridges’s recent auction where bidders fought each other to acquire a Qianlong-dynasty vase. The battle among Asian bidders set the final price for the artifact to $83.2 million! The final price far surpassed the vase’s pre-sale estimate of 1.2 million pounds by 40 times and creating an auction record for Chinese art. The exquisitely decorated mid-18th century vase was made for the emperor Qianlong and was discovered during a routine house clearance in the suburb of Pinner in London. The winning bidder was a Beijing based agent who refused to comment about the sale. The astonishing price fetched by the vase goes to show the growing community of Asian collectors who are willing to pay millions of dollars for Chinese artifacts associated with emperors.
This sale has brought the growing demand for Chinese art to the forefront and helped Bainbridge make its name among other auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s.