Chinese Treasures Break World Records at Hong Kong Auction

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On Thursday, an 18th-century Chinese pearl necklace and a white jade seal broke world records at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong.

The pearl necklace sold for $8.7 million, eight times over its highest estimate after 61 bids.

[Nicholas Chow, Head of Sotheby's China Department]: (Male, English)
"The price today was a record for imperial jewelry. There's not been a single piece of imperial jewelry that can even approach it in price. It is many, many multiples by many times a world record."

An anonymous collector bid for it by phone.

The freshwater pearl necklace, dotted with precious stones, may have belonged to the Emperor Yongzheng who reigned from 1722 to 1735.

[Nicholas Chow, Head of Sotheby's China Department]: (Male, English)
"It's got great significance. It's something that the emperor treasured. It sort of marks a very important moment in his life. And this is why this is something that can easily capture our clients' imagination."

Also breaking a world record is an inscribed white jade seal that sold for over $12 million. The previous world record for a jade seal was $5.9 million in 2007.

Furious bidding lasted ten minutes and the seal eventually went to an anonymous bidder in the room.

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