Chinese billionaires are not the only ones driving prices of Chinese ceramics far beyond the estimates. In yesterday’s Christie’s sale of decorative objects held in London—a sale that was meant to feature the Adriaen de Vries bronze found in an Austrian garden—the Macau casino developer paid 8x the high estimate for a set of four vases:
Sold by a private collector, the Jiaqing period (1796-1821) vases had formerly been in the collection of the Scottish aristocrats, the Dukes of Buccleuch, and had been estimated at 600,000 pounds to 1 million pounds.
After the auction, the casino-owner’s leisure group said the vases had been bought by Wynn Resorts Macau Ltd. for its new Cotai Resort Hotel, scheduled to open in 2015. It was also the buyer of a Chinoiserie tapestry for 169,250 pounds.
“We are delighted to return works of this extraordinary quality to the city of Macau and the People’s Republic of China,” Roger Thomas, executive vice president of Design for Wynn Design and Development, said after the sale.