It now appears that the transaction for the Qianlong Vase will be completed. At least, that's what auctioneer Peter Bainbridge is being quoted as saying. Whew!
But here's an interesting snippet on the subject of Chinese vases: according to the Financial Times and other sources, at a Sotheby's New York sale this week, a Chinese famille rose vase catalogued as 20th Century manufacture and estimated at $80-1200 sold for $18million. Whoa!
That puts Sotheby's in an 'interesting' position. They've either got to say that their cataloguing was wrong or their buyers are. Not to mention that their buyers don't trust their (Sotheby's) cataloguing.