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The gilt-decorated powder blue bottle vase, standing 10in (26cm) high, was hammered down for £52,000 despite damage to the rim, far outstripping its pre-sale estimate of £1000-1500. It was contested between online and room bidders.

Sworders attributed the success of the vase and other pieces to the overall quality of the sale and its consignments.

“The market is much more selective these days, so when you put a really special sale together, like this one, the buyers come flocking and they compete fiercely, pushing up the prices,” said head of the Asian art department Yexue Li. “ When you get as many interested bidders as we did here, the prices are bound to soar.”

Sale highlights

Other top sellers at the May 9 sale included a pair of Chinese famille rose vases from the Republic period (1912-49) which took £23,000.

The top seller from Japan was a bronze baluster form vase from the Meiji period (1868-1912), cast in relief with a scene of boar hunting under a pine tree in a mountain landscape. The piece is engraved with the mark of Dai Nihon Kanamori Soshichi sei, a leading maker of the period, and took £12,500 over an estimate of £4000-6000.

Buyer’s premium was 22%.