A fine Chinese snuff bottle, made from pure white jade, sold as part of an American-based Asian art auction on January 18 for $54,000. The sale price represents a 260% increase on its $15,000 presale estimate.
A second jade snuff bottle, carved in the form of a melon with foliage and butterflies, brought $36,000 at the ohio auction - 140% over its top end valuation of $15,000.
The elegant, translucent artefacts, which are both dated from the 18th century, exhibit extremely delicate hand-carvings and a high level of artistry. Both are polished to a very high degree and remain in outstanding condition.
Before the sale, Graydon Sikes, director of Asian art at the auction house, commented: "Most of the works in the sale come from collections that were put together many years ago, and have not been offered for a long time."
Asian art objects have previously put in very strong performances at auction, with modern Chinese painter Zhang Daquian the top selling artist of 2011.
China now has the world's third highest number of millionaires at 1.4m, having added 193,000 in the space of just a year, according to Boston Consulting Group's 2012 Global Wealth report - subsequently, the sale of Asian art collectibles has seen an increase in recent years.
The results of a recent Barclays Wealth Insights report go some way towards explaining this development: concluding that Chinese interest in acquiring collectibles, whether for portfolio diversification or as status symbols, far exceeds Western interest. The report asserts that 17% of China's wealthiest individuals have their money placed in treasure assets compared to just 9% in the US and 7% in the UK.