Pot o’ Gold: Family’s Old Vase Fetches $83 Million

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LONDON (AP).- It was just an old Chinese vase that had been in the family for 80 years. It turned out to be much more. When the intricately painted 18th-century piece went on the block at Bainbridges, a small suburban London auction house, it sold for a record $83 million Thursday, scooped up by a Chinese buyer. “How do you anticipate the Chinese market?” asked the shocked auctioneer, Peter Bainbridge. “It’s totally on fire.” The sale price was more than 40 times the pre-sale estimate and a record for a Chinese work of art — an outcome Bainbridge called “a fairy tale” for the family who owned the vase. The sellers, who wished to remain anonymous, are the sister and nephew of a deceased elderly woman in the West London suburb of Pinner. The vase had been in the family at least since the 1930s, though they don’t know how it was acquired. Many Chinese artifacts surfaced in Britain in the 19th century, having b