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White Jade Seal sold at record-breaking price in Hong Kong
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The four-day Sotheby's Hong Kong autumn 2007 sale concluded on Tuesday. More than 940 lots sold, with a total worth of HK$1.55 billion (about US$200.23 million).

The highlight of the last-day sale was a six-centimeter (2.4- inch) "Tai Shang Huang Di" White Jade Seal, carved in 1796 to mark the abdication of the Emperor Qianlong. It was sold to a Chinese collector for US$5.92 million, a new record for white jade at auction.

A Rare Imperial Album comprising the Impressions of Antique Seals from the Collection of the Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty was sold at US$4.986 million during Tuesday's auction.

At Monday's auction, a flawless blue diamond was sold for US$7.98 million, making it the most expensive gemstone per carat sold at auction. After intense bidding, the 6.04 carat, internally flawless blue diamond fetched US$1.32 million per carat. The price smashed a 20-year-old record held by the Hancock Red - a red diamond which fetched US$ 926,000 per carat at the time.

At Sotheby's Hong Kong Contemporary Chinese Art sale held on Sunday, the total worth of sold lots reached US$42.54 million, a new world record for the sale of Chinese Contemporary Art.

The auction saw new artists' records established for Cai Guo-Qiang, Yu Chen, Xu Bing, Liu Wei, Wang Guangyi and Zhan Wang. The highlight of the sale was The Massacre at Chios by Yue Minjun.

After six minutes of intense competition between seven bidders both in the saleroom and via telephones, the work was finally sold to an Asian private collector for US$4,084,202, nearly four times its pre-sale low estimate.

The painting is regarded as one of the most important works produced during the fledgling years of contemporary Chinese art. It is an early work that depicts the artist's characteristic "self-images".

Among the three works in the sale by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, his painting: Project for Extraterrestrials No.10, Project to Extend the Great Wall of China, achieved a new record for the artist at auction, going at US$2,640,634.

The painting, executed in the unusual medium of gunpowder on paper, consists of five pieces. It is monumental in size, measuring approximately 3 by 20 meters. The work reflects and records an explosion in 1993 at Jiayuguan, where the Great Wall ends.

(Xinhua News Agency October 10, 2007)

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