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Thursday, 15 December 2016 - 10:19
18C Chinese imperial seal sells for record 21m euros
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An 18th-century Chinese imperial seal sold for a record 21 million euros in Paris on Wednesday -- more than 20 times its estimate, the Drouot auction house has said.

Decorated with stylised dragons, the symbol of imperial authority, the extremely rare stamp in red and beige nephrite jade comes from the Qianlong period (1736-1795).

It was snapped up by an unnamed Chinese collector after a furious bidding battle between would-be telephone buyers and those in the salesroom.

The previous record for a seal had been set in 2011 when one was bought for 161 million yuan, around 14 million euros ($15 million).

The Chinese imperial seal, remarkable for being "very red, almost blood" red according to Asian art expert Alice Jossaume, had been expected to sell for between 800,000 and one million euros.

It belonged to the Emperor Qianlong, who is regarded as the longest serving emperor in Chinese history, holding ultimate power long after he officially retired.
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