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Offered in their latest Asian art sale on May 18, an exceptional Imperial Qing Dynasty white jade teapot and cover, shown here, was taken to £1.75m by a Hong Kong phone bidder against a £200,000-300,000 estimate, while a white jade vase and cover from the same period took £1.02m against a £100,000-200,000 estimate.

The seven-figure barrier - a once unimaginable milestone for salerooms outside London - has now been passed 11 times in six years.

Eight 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 hammer for a 14th century Yuan dynasty porcelain double-gourd vase in July 2005.

The latter was the first £1m-plus price in the regions.

There was 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 the £43m sale at Bainbridges last November of the yang cai reticulated vase holds the provincial record by some margin.

Although speculation has abounded that the item may not be paid for, it has now been reported that a £2m deposit has arrived from the buyer with the rest due to follow shortly.

By Alex Capon

The buyer's premium at Woolley & Wallis was 19.5%

A full report on the recent London and provincial Asian works of art sales will appear in a future issue the printed version of ATG. To subscribe click here.