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A monumental Fencai Imperial Qing Dynasty vase auctioned for $24.7 million at Skinner last night, setting a record as the top grossing lot ever sold in New England, and topping all sales of Qing Dynasty vases in the U.S. The Skinner "Asian Works of Art" auction coincides with Asia Week, and this vase has surpassed all other objects sold during the event to date.

An intensely focused and enthusiastic crowd packed the auction room, and most rose to their feet as the vase soared past the $10 million mark. After spirited bidding from multiple bidders present in the room and participating by phone, the hammer fell to a round of applause.

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As established and start-up companies alike jump in the race to serve online auction bidders, several regional auction houses have announced a new platform. Bidsquare was developed by six houses—Brunk Auctions, Cowan’s Auctions, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Pook & Pook, Rago, and Skinner—with the aim of bringing together “like-minded audiences as well as exceptional property.” The new platform will provide access to a wide variety of property, from fine art and estate jewelry, to design, and historical artifacts. Lots will be available on an “intuitive, easy-to-use website” that will allow buyers and the auctioneers to conduct business directly in an online forum, according to a Bidsquare press release.

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A painting sold at auction in Boston over the weekend has set a new record in an obscure but cherished corner of the art world that has a long history in New England.

The painting, an 18th century portrait of a young Connecticut woman, sold for $1.27 million at an auction of American furniture and decorative arts, held Saturday in Boston by Skinner Inc. The previous record was held by a similar painting sold in 2007 by Christie’s Group plc for just a few tens of thousands less, according to the auction house.

The portrait, about 37 inches square, depicts one Abigail Rose, of North Branford, Conn., at the age of 14. It has been owned by Rose’s family and descendants since then, according to Skinner, and was last seen publicly in the 1930s.

The painting’s last home was in Plymouth, Mass., said Stephen Fletcher, director of American furniture and decorative arts at Skinner. “The gentleman (owner) lost his wife, and his children voted to let the picture be sold because they thought someone else could better to take care of it,” Fletcher said. “I think they were astounded by how much money Abby brought. I think they loved Abby, and they still love her.”

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