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Ringing the changes from £100 to £400,000

15 October 2007Written by ATG Reporter

Another imperial Chinese sleeper has awoken in West Sussex.

In the wake of a pair of moon flasks that sold for £760,000 at Henry Adams of Chichester in July, the closing lot of the first day of Bellmans' October 10-12 sale was this Chinese gilt bronze temple bell and stand.

Unknown to the Billingshurst, West Sussex auctioneers - who had estimated it at a mere £100-150 - they were offering a Qianlong (1736-1795) mark and period bell cast with imperial dragons clasping flaming pearls in its original carved hardwood stand.

Underbid by a London dealer, it sold on the telephone to a buyer wishing to remain anonymous for £400,000 (plus 20 per cent buyer's premium).

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ATG Reporter

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