The Qianlong doucai jardinière that took £520,000 at Isle of Man auctioneers Murrays (incorporating Chrystals).

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Three of London's top Asian art dealers flew to the Isle of Man to view the piece earlier in the week and six telephones were booked for the day of sale.

Bidding quickly rose above the £40,000-60,000 estimate courtesy of a pre-emptive bid of £300,000 from a Chinese agent in the saleroom but the final moments of a ten-minute contest were conducted by a London-based Chinese dealer and a Chinese lady bidding on the telephone from Hong Kong.

The latter was successful at £520,000 (plus 12.5% buyer's premium).