A pair of rare Chinese famille rose vases from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) sold for 13 million pounds at Christie's auction house in London last Tuesday, making it one of the top 10 most-expensive Chinese ceramics sold at auction.
"The buyer of the vases wishes to remain anonymous," said Katy Griffiths, communications officer at Christie's London.
The telephone bidder will pay 14.73 million pounds, once commission and taxes are added.
The vases, made in the 18th century for the court of the Qianlong Emperor, were purchased in the early 1930s by an English buyer who passed them on to the current owner.
It was the first time a pair of such Qianlong vases had been offered. Only four other single vases of a similar type have been sold at auctions to date.
The vases are elaborately decorated with butterflies partially hidden and partially visible among flowers glazed with bright colors. Such intricate design, bearing royal hallmark colors such as yellow and red, imparts auspiciousness and long-lived wealth.