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The vase was consigned to Halls after being discovered in the Southport area where it had been stored in a warehouse for years.

12 telephone bidders battled each other for the piece in the sale on 19th July. The base of the vase was marked with the seal for the emperor Yongzheng (1723-35) the fifth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty.

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Alexander Clement, Halls' Asian art specialist, commented on the epic sale: "We are delighted with the result. It's a privilege to be able to sell something so incredibly rare. The Asian buyer accommodated the damage because of its rarity and quality and gave it a really strong price. The vendor was very pleased with the result and was in the saleroom to watch the auction.''

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