Qing Dynasty Vase Sells for $25 Million

The Quing Dynasty Vase Fetched $25 million Photo: Skinner, Inc.

A 18th century, Qing Dynasty vase sold for $24.7 million in a September 17th auction at Boston’s Skinner Inc., Bloomberg reported. The remarkable result was approximately 165 times the lot’s low estimate of $150,000. It makes for a new US record for a Qing Dynasty vase

Judith Dowling, director of Asian works at Skinner told Art Daily: “The vase is a tour-de-force of ceramic techniques, and it is believed that the emperor ordered it made.” She explained that the estimate had been conservative because the object had been damaged and featured visible cracks and repairs. “We put a very low, conservative estimate on it,” she added when speaking to Bloomberg. “Nothing like this had ever sold.”

According to Skinner, the vase sold for $750 dollars when it first appeared at auction in 1964. Dowling explained that “In 1964, China was closed. There were not so many buyers of Chinese material in the US. Now the Chinese are taking back their material, buying it wherever they can find it.”

The winning bid was placed by an unidentified Chinese collector, who beat multiple bidders in the room and on the phone.

Skinner CEO Karen Keane told Art Daily, “Boston is a vibrant and essential marketplace for Asian art and we at Skinner were honored to have the opportunity to be stewards of such an important and beautiful work of art.”

The record setting result follows signs that the Chinese-art auction market is continuing to improve. According Clare McAndrew’s recent report on the Chinese market published by artnet News, a slump in 2012 was followed by a strong performance in 2013, reaching $8.5 billion (“Chinese Art Market Rebounds to $8.5 Billion in 2013“).

Several other artworks surpassed their estimates during Asian art auctions in New York this past week. As of Friday, Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Bonhams, and Doyle totaled about $90 million in sales during the week.


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