A pair of Jiaqing mark and period yellow-ground vases, $300,000 (£243,000) at J Garrett Auctioneers.

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The pair of 14in (35cm) high vases, with Jiaqing (1796-1820) marks and of the period, had been bought by a St Louis, Missouri, family at the Chicago Antique Show in 1977.

Given broad expectations of $100,000-300,000, they sold at the top estimate (£243,000).

Vessels of this type (which are much faked) first became popular in the Qianlong reign. They combine the yellow enamel ground synonymous with the imperial household, archaistic dragon handles, a wealth of auspicious motifs and the lively depiction of figures in landscape, painted in famille rose enamels.

While the majority of Qianlong vessels depicted boys at play, by the Jiaqing reign other figures were popular.

In this case the emblems of upside-down bats, lotuses and ruyi sceptres (synonymous with happiness, purity and long life) and the golden wan characters (multiplying the good wishes by ten thousand) are accompanied by finely painted landscapes of elders and children by the sea.

Both pieces had minor condition issues. One suffered a repair to the rim and the hands while another had a restored chip to the base.