Chinese 'Buyer' of £53 Million Qing-dynasty Vase 'has nothing to do with sale'
A Chinese property billionaire who is accused breaking the hearts of a British couple by failing to pay for a £53 million Qing-dynasty vase that was found in the house of a deceased relative had "absolutely nothing" to do with the 'sale', his connections said on Monday.
Wang Jianlin, the chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, has been named by several publications, including the Antiques Trade Gazette, as the man behind the record-breaking bid for the vase which fetched more than 65 times its £800,000 estimate.
However this was strenuously denied in Beijing on Monday by the Wanda Group's Art Studio which has been collecting art works on behalf of the group since it was established as a subsidiary almost 15 years ago.
"I want to clarify two things: first the buyer [of the vase] is definitely is not Wanda Group or Mr Wang Jianlin," said Guo Qingxiang, the president of the Wanda Yuebao Art Studio in Beijing, "Second I want to say these media reports are totally irresponsible. It is pure nonsense. How can they report something so groundlessly?"
The denial is the latest twist in a story that has perplexed many in the art world and raised questions about the reliability of Chinese collectors and their agents who have massively driven up the price of antique Chinese ceramics in recent years.
Initially the sale was celebrated as the ultimate good luck story, after it emerged that the owners, a solicitor from the Isle of Wight, Anthony Johnson and his elderly mother, had inherited the 16in vase which was identified as a piece from the prized Qianlong-era of the 1740s.
[Editor] Lola Xu