HELPED by the boom in Chinese works of art, UK regional salerooms continue to rewrite the record books. Following the £43m vase at Bainbridges of Ruislip, Salisbury auctioneers Woolley & Wallis posted two more seven-figure sums for jades.
At their sale on November 17, they took £3.2m for an exceptional Qianlong carving of a recumbent deer and its young on a contemporary hardwood stand and £2m for a massive five-dragon brushwasher.
Both lots were from Crichel House in Dorset, the source of a pair of Imperial grey-green jade elephants (£1m) and a white jade bell or ghanta (£2m) sold by the auctioneers in May.
The seven-figure barrier - a once unimaginable milestone for salerooms outside London - has now been passed nine times in just over five years. Six of those £1m-plus prices have been posted for Chinese works of art sold by the Salisbury rooms, who in 2009 sold a Qianlong spinach-green jade buffalo on its original gilt-bronze stand at £3.4m, bettering the firm's previous provincial record of £2.6m (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium) bid for a 14th century Yuan dynasty porcelain double gourd vase in July 2005.
There is also the pair of Fra Angelico panels at Duke's of Dorchester (£1.7m in April 2007) and a Rembrandt self portrait at Gloucestershire's Moore, Allen & Innocent (£2.2m in October 2007).
But all previous landmarks have been obliterated by the £43m sale at Bainbridges on November 11 of the yang cai reticulated vase - surely a never-to-be-repeated sum?