Qing dynasty vase auctions for $1.3m at Sotheby's

A circa 1723 Qing dynasty vase has sold for €961,500 ($1.3m) at Sotheby's Paris.

The substantial sale price represents a very impressive 2303.8% increase on the item's €40,000 top estimate.

Chinese vase
The Chinese perfected the formula for hard paste porcelain centuries before it was developed in Europe

Following the two-session sale of Asian art on June 12, Sotheby's Caroline Schulten commented: "Today's results show once again that Asian clients are always present in Paris for objects with ancient provenance that have been selected with care and come fresh to the market."

Bearing the imperial Yongzheng hallmark in honour of emperor Yongzheng, who was on the Chinese throne from 1722 until 1735, the hard-paste porcelain vase is decorated with copper-red fruit and flowers.

In November 2012, a comparable Chinese Qing dynasty vase sold for $3m. The world record for Chinese porcelain at auction, held by an unassuming little green dish, currently stands at $26.7m.

The top end of the Asian collectibles market is influenced by a small number of extremely affluent individuals. However, this number is set to rise.

In 2012, China boasted 154 billionaires. It is predicted that by 2022 this figure will have increased by 214% to 483.

"A whole new sector of the art and antiques trade has sprung up to service this Oriental juggernaut," writes Antique Collecting magazine, "with attendant fairs and specialist events."

In May 2013, a pair of Chinese agate carvings - one depicting a boy holding a puppy and the other a boy holding a drum - sold with an 89,000% increase on their £300 ($450) top estimate. The £180,000 ($270,702) sale price left experts baffled.

Following the sale, London-based Oriental art expert John Berwald told the Daily Mail newspaper: "It's a hell of a price… if two people want an item badly enough and are happy to pay whatever it takes, then you can get these hugely inflated prices."

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