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Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Thursday, 26 November 2009
Rare Chinese bowls raise millions
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Chinese bowls go up for auction

A set of China bowls, used in more recent times to serve nibbles at parties, were discovered to be a set of rare 18th Century porcelain.

They were made in China in the reign of emperor Yongzheng, which only lasted for two years.

James Bridges, from auctioneers Martel Maides, said: "They were made in the Imperial Palace at a time when Chinese porcelain was at its finest quality."

The bowls belonged to the same Guernsey family for around 80 years.

James said that they don't have any evidence how the bowls came to Guernsey but he imagined "they would have come from a source in the far east".

Chinese bowl
The matching bowls feature bats and gourd designs around the sides

What makes the bowls so unique is that they were made during such a short imperial reign and Yongzheng favoured a much more stylised form of decoration to other porcelain of the time.

James explained finding a pair of matching bowls of this nature is so rare that they had not set a guide price.

He said they were worth "a substantial amount and the chance of buying a pair like this won't come up again"

The bowls sold for £1,020,000 at auction and attracted attention from all over the world including America and Hong Kong.

A third bowl in the collection also sold for £280,000.




SEE ALSO
China country profile
09 Aug 11 |  Country profiles

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