Recently, an 18th century Chinese porcelain vase stunned the world by setting the highest price ever for Chinese art sold.
The vase, which was discovered when a house was cleared out was sold for £43 million ($69.3 million) at Bainbridges Auctions (£53.1m after commission which pushes the total to over $85 million). The vase was only estimated to sell for £1.2 million but fierce bidding among Chinese would-be buyers drove up the price. The vase sold to a Chinese bidder who turned up to bid on behalf of an undisclosed buyer.
There is speculation that the delicate vase with the fish motif would have spent time in the Chinese Royal Palace and was likely fired in the Imperial kilns. One of the things that makes this vase so extraordinary is that it has a reticulated double walled construction. There is an inner vase that can be viewed through the perforations of the main body. It is of the Qianlong period, circa 1740s and decorated with four cartouches each showcasing different styles of fish at play on stylized water backgrounds. It has a delicately painted yellow trumpet neck and vase set off from the central decoration by orange bands.