• Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 9 May 2017

MEDIA ALERT: A Rare & Important Pair of Chinese Vases Sell For £14,725,000 / $19,054,150 / HK$147,588,675 At Christie's London

London – A magnificent pair of famille rose 'butterfly' double-gourd vases has sold for £14,725,000 / $19,054,150 / HK$147,588,675 at Christie’s London. This is the very first time that a pair of these Qianlong vases has been offered; only four other single vases of this type have been sold at auction to date. This important pair of 18th-century vases were made for the court of the Qianlong Emperor and his reign mark is painted on the bases. The vases are elaborately decorated with butterflies amidst flowers, which carry a wealth of auspicious messages. For example, the camellias have five deep red petals, a colour associated with joy and protection.

Rosemary Scott, Chinese ceramics specialist and International Academic Director at Christie’s, discusses the vases in a video on the Christie’s website here.

Christie’s Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale realised a total of £19,456,750 / $25,177,035 / HK$195,015,005. Further highlights of the auction included a large Qing dynasty huanghuali display cabinet, which realised £1,805,000; a pair of Qianlong period famille rose elephants, which achieved £281,000, and An Autumn Day by Huang Binhong (1865-1955), which sold for £197,000. View the full results here.

Pedram Rasti, Director and Head of Chinese Works of Art Department, Christie’s London, commented: “This beautiful pair of Qianlong vases have caused great excitement, attracting the attention of key collectors internationally, both when touring to Christie’s New York and Hong Kong and on display at Christie’s King Street saleroom in London. My colleague Jeremy Morgan knew that they were very special when he saw them for the first time; the only pair of their type to have come to auction, the vases are exquisite works of art and deserve to have achieved such an exceptional price. This result builds on Christie’s outstanding Asian Art Week series in New York this March and we look forward to the sale on 12 May at Christie’s South Kensington.”

The Christie’s South Kensington sale of Chinese Ceramics, Works of Art and Textiles will be held on Friday 12 May

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in 2017 that totalled £5.1 billion / $6.6 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.