Wine vessel sets record for online sale at Christie's

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - An ancient Chinese wine vessel was sold to an online bidder for $3.3 million at Christie’s, smashing the auction house’s previous top online sale price.

The rectangular vessel, which dates from the 12th-11th century BC, is believed to have been a prized ritual item and is adorned with mythological dragons.

Inscriptions on both the vessel and the accompanying cover record the names of the artisans who created it, as well as the clan names of the ancestors to whom it was dedicated.

The sale Thursday was “a sign that fine art collectors are growing ever more comfortable with bidding online,” Christie’s said in a statement.

The previous record for an online sale at Christie’s was $1.27 million for a Stradivari violin auctioned off in April 2008.

Editing by Patricia Reaney