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With 22,000 lots sold across six categories, the saleroom posted a total turnover of RMB2.712bn (£265m), the highest annual tally since the company’s establishment 16 years ago, and a 50 per cent increase over its 2008 figures.

In the Chinese painting and calligraphy category alone, China Guardian reported selling 8800 lots for a total of RMB1.941bn (£190m).

“This year’s auction results have further consolidated Beijing’s status as the world’s fourth largest auction centre,” said Wang Yannan, director and president of China Guardian.