A Chinese vase found during a house clearout in London has sold at auction for what is believed to be a world record £43 million ($68 million).
The elaborately decorated 16 inch (40 cm) ceramic vase, which dates from the mid-18th century Qianlong period, was bought by a private buyer from mainland China on Thursday in Bainbridges, a small west London-based auction house.
After the addition of the 20 percent fees on its hammer price the final bill for the buyer was £53,105,000 ($85,176,578).
It is thought to be the highest price ever paid for any Chinese artwork say Bainbridges, who auctioned the vase on behalf of a mother and son, according to CNN sources.
The pair, who want to remain anonymous, were clearing out a house in Pinner, a leafy suburb of north-west London, when they came across the dusty vase on a shelf.
They had no idea what it was says Helen Porter, a researcher at Bainbridges.
Luan Grocholski, a Bainbridges’ valuer and specialist in oriental antiquities, told CNN: “When I saw it for the first time I thought it was a wonderful piece, I wasn’t sure if it was real. But, after some research and examination we decided that it was real.
“It is indeed a world record in ceramics, definitely the most expensive piece of oriental art sold at auction”, he added