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British family's old vase fetches $83 million

This 16-inch vase became the most expensive Chinese artwork ever sold.

Associated Press

This 16-inch vase became the most expensive Chinese artwork ever sold.

Old family vase was Chinese treasure worth $83M

A Chinese vase that sat, little-noticed, in a suburban London home has become one of the most expensive artworks ever sold. The 18th century porcelain vase, sold by a family clearing out a deceased relative's house, went to a Chinese buyer for $83 million — more than 40 times the pre-sale estimate and a record for a Chinese work of art. The sellers, whose identity was not disclosed, are the sister and nephew of a deceased elderly woman clearing out her "very modest home" in a London suburb. The vase had been in the family at least since the 1930s, though the sellers don't know how it was acquired. Many Chinese artifacts surfaced in Britain in the 19th century, having been looted from Beijing's Summer Palace when it was sacked by British and French troops at the end of the Second Opium War in 1860. The vase, bought by a Chinese bidder on behalf of an undisclosed buyer, is the most expensive Chinese artwork ever sold, beating a Song Dynasty scroll that sold for almost $64 million in Beijing in June.

Apple 1 computer, a 'relic,' awaits sale

The first Apple computer — together with a letter signed by Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs to the original owner — will be sold at a London auction this month. Described by Christie's as a "historic relic," the Apple 1 was introduced in 1976 and sold without a casing, power supply, keyboard or monitor. At a time when personal computers were sold as self-assembly kits, the Apple 1 was the first personal computer with a fully assembled motherboard. The first Apple 1 computers were priced at $666.66 and were dispatched from Jobs' parents' house. The auction house said Friday the item is rare because all the components are still in their original box and came with a letter signed by Jobs. It will be sold on Nov. 23 and is expected to fetch up to $242,400.

British family's old vase fetches $83 million 11/12/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:20pm]

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