Tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun bet almost HK$14 million of his chips yesterday to win an ornate Qing dynasty throne for a world-record price. The casino magnate placed his HK$13.76 million bid by telephone to buy the dragon lacquer throne at a Christie's auction in Hong Kong. The international auction house said Mr Ho told them he would put it in his new casino, the Grand Lisboa. The throne, from the reign of emperor Kangxi (1654-1722), sold at almost quadruple the previous record price for an imperial chair - US$477,900 for an 18th-19th-century zitan rectangular throne, sold in October 2004 in New York. Mr Ho's new throne is decorated in the Qiangjin and Tianqi styles. The former involves inlaying gold leaf into a finely incised design on the lacquer base, while the second involves lacquer of different colours applied in specified outlines. Pola Antebi, Christie's Hong Kong head of Chinese ceramics and works of art department, was happy with the auction results. 'This lacquer chair has been purchased by Mr Ho and he said he will be putting it in his new casino,' she said. Ms Antebi said the throne had probably stood in private palace halls during the Kangxi era. 'We're very excited to offer this chair and we won't find another one like this.' The auction also set a record for Chinese ceramics, with a pair of Yongzheng famille rose 'peach' bowls going for HK$50.72 million. They were last sold in 1997 for HK$9 million. 'These are perfectly matched bowls in excellent condition,' Ms Antebi said. Christie's had expected HK$12 million for the throne and HK$30 million for the bowls. Ms Antebi believed with the booming of the Asian economy, many affluent people were becoming interested in collecting Chinese ceramics, paintings and furniture. 'The prices have increased every year, and more people are interested in collecting Chinese pieces.' She said approximately 75 per cent of their clients were from the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and they were often interested in collecting art pieces from their own cultures, particularly contemporary Asian art.