Qianlong double gourd vases up 77.9% on estimate at Sotheby's

A pair of Qianlong period (1735-1796) yellow ground famille-rose double gourd vases were the outstanding lot at Sotheby's monumental Fine Chinese Ceramics And Works Of Art Autumn Sale Series in Hong Kong.

The pair of vases, which came from the collection of Christian Holmes, sold to a Hong Kong bidder for $13.7m on October 9 at the Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art sale, 77.9% up on the $7.7m high estimate.

Qianlong double gourd vases
A unique pair of Qianlong double gourd
vases sold for $13.7m

The superb showing can be attributed to their remarkable eye appeal as well as their unique nature. In fact, even similar vases to the pair have been impossible to find.

Sotheby's states: "These vases, with their fine potting as well as splendid and auspicious decoration, would have been a perfect birthday or wedding gift for the emperor or one of his family members."

A pair of Qianlong period turquoise-glazed pomegranate vases, from the JM Hu Collection, also performed well on October 9, selling within estimate for $3m. An iron-red and underglaze blue Nine Dragon charger from the Yongzheng period (1722-1735) sold just beyond its high estimate for $5.3m.

Earlier in the week there had been a new world record for a Lee Man Fong artwork, when his Fortune and Longevity sold for $4.4m.

Sotheby's recently entered into an agreement to begin auctions on the Chinese mainland, with the first major event expected in the new year. In doing so it aims to take on local auction house giant China Guardian, who in turn hosted its first Hong Kong auction last week.

Chinese auctions represented 44% of world auction revenue in 2011, figures from France's Conseil des Ventes reveal.

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