Today in history... Mongolia gains independence from the Qing Dynasty

On this day in 1911, Mongolia gained independence from China's Qing Dynasty, its last ruling dynasty between 1644-1912 before the establishment of the People's Republic of China.

Amid growing enthusiasm for fine wines, jewellery and stamps in the Far East, Qing Dynasty artefacts and memorabilia were at the forefront of the collectors' markets in 2009.

Two Qing Dynasty carvings, from a large
set which sold for $1.5m at Christie's

"If you wonder how good the mood really is in China, forget the annual growth rate, the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the rest," proclaimed the New York Times in September of this year.

"Instead, look at what's happening in the auction market."

That month, Christie's in New York auctioned a number of items from the Arthur M Sackler collection - one of the greatest Chinese art collections in the Western world.

Among the items blessed with the so-called "Sackler magic" was a Qing dynasty jade pendant with a black cicada on a white peapod, whose final hammer value soared to $128,500 - four times its estimate.

Meanwhile, a white vase with moulded patterns from the Jiajing period (1796-1820) sold for more than ten times its $30,000-50,000 predicted value, bringing an incredible $590,000.

Red Revenue Stamp

Also in September of this year, in Hong Kong, an 1897 Qing Dynasty Three Cents Red Revenue stamp sold for the highest amount ever paid for a Chinese Stamp.

One of only 50 such stamps to ever be created - of which only 32 can be accounted for today -  it far exceeded its $250,000 estimate to bring a world record-breaking $331,671.

However, the record sale for a Chinese stamp would soon be broken again, also in Hong Kong, two months later on November 1.

A Chinese stamp pulled from circulation in 1968 (during its decade-long cultural revolution) for failing to show Taiwan as part of China, much to the annoyance of the Chinese government, was sold to an anonymous Asian buyer for $475,000.

All prices are shown in US dollars.


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