I read a couple of art news sites, and these days the biggest ads for auctions are not the ones for European art. No, they are for Chinese antiquities. The rest of the world may be in recession, but Chinese billionaires are on a buying spree, bidding up the price of Chinese vases and seals to record levels. Anything associated with a famous emperor is especially valued. The white jade seal above, made in the 18th century and bearing the mark of the emperor, recently sold for $15.6 million.
This eighteenth-century vase sold for $32.6 million and briefly held the record for the highest price paid for a Chinese artifact.
The new record holder, a vase said to have been made in the imperial kilns in 1740. This went for $85.9 million, after receiving a pre-bid estimate of about $2 million. And it's ugly!