Qing Dynasty Relic Yields Record Price at Auction

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LONDON — As treasure-in-the-attic stories go, the 18th-century Chinese vase sold at a suburban auction house in outer London on Thursday night will be hard to beat.

The delicate, decorative 16-inch vase started at a not-inconsequential $800,000, but after a half-hour of unexpectedly spirited bidding, the gavel fell at $69.5 million. It was the highest price ever paid at auction for a Chinese antiquity.

Adding in the 20 percent buyer’s premium levied by the auction house and Britain’s value-added tax, the total came to $85.9 million. Auction insiders said the buyer was from mainland China and bid by telephone....

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