Christie's Rejoices As Chinese Collectors Break Records At Hong Kong Art, Wine, Jewelry Auctions

    Although most observers expected these auctions, with their top-quality wines, works by sought-after Chinese artists, and rare jewels, to do well, the grand totals likely even surprised some at Christie's.
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Lifestyle

    $76 Million USD Hong Kong Auction Series Sees Artist And Wine Records Tumble#

    Over the past several days, Christie's has held a series of wine, art and jewelry auctions in Hong Kong, which Jing Daily previously predicted would see Asian collectors -- particularly those from mainland China -- continue their red-hot buying streak. Emerging Chinese and other Asian collectors have, over the past two years, been instrumental in Hong Kong's rise on the auction stage, as the city has become one of the world's top three wine markets and a crucial hub for international auction houses.

    Although most observers expected these sales -- with their top-quality wines, works by sought-after Chinese artists like Zeng Fanzhi and Zao Wou-ki, and rare jewels like the 14.23 carat "Perfect Pink" diamond -- to do well, the grand totals likely even surprised some at Christie's. All told, this weekend's art and wine auctions brought in a total of HK$592.7 million (US$76.3 million), with the wine auctions accounting for US$10.3 million. (Well over the pre-sale estimate of $8 million.) Today's jewelry auction added another HK$612.6 million (US$78.9 million) to Christie's haul for the week. But among all of the results that have come out over the past few days, several individual highlights certainly stand out.

    Auction highlights from this weekend:


    Contemporary and 20th Century Asian Art

    Realized: HK$281.3 million (US$36.2 million), 84% sold by lot and 78% sold by value

    - Seven artist records set

    - Top lot: Potted Chrysanthemum in a Blue and White Jardiniére by Sanyu, which set a new artist record at HK$53.3 million (US$6.9 million), well over its pre-sale estimate of HK$35 million

    - Six lots sold for over HK$10 million (US$1.3 million)

    - Zeng Fanzhi’s “A Man in Melancholy,” yesterday's top lot, sold for a whopping HK$10.3million (US$1.3 million),

    more than six times its estimate#

    - Asian bidders won

    nine out of the top ten works#


    Three of the top ten lots by price were works by Chinese contemporary artist Zeng Fanzhi#

    , with three works by Zao Wou-ki also making the top ten list

    - "Boating" by contemporary artist Yue Minjun sold for HK$5.4 million (US$701,000), over a high estimate of HK$5 million

    - "Great Criticism - Materialist's Art" by Wang Guangyi sold for HK$4.6 million (US$593,000), well over its high estimate of HK$3.5 million

    Finest and Rarest Wines Series#

    Realized: HK$80.3 million (US$10.4 million), 90% sold by lot, 96% sold by value


    Nearly 80% of the lots sold over the high estimate#

    , with each session featuring at least one lot that sold for more than HK$1 million (US$129,000)

    - Average lot value -- $141,000 -- is the highest ever for a Christie's wine auction in Hong Kong, and represents a 18.9% increase over our spring 2010 auction

    - Krug superlot, comprised of 144 bottles and a VIP trip for two to visit to the House of Krug, sold for HK$1.2 million (US$155,000), more than double high estimate of HK$550,000 (US$71,000)


    Nine of the top ten lots were purchased by mainland Chinese bidders#

    , with the tenth buyer being Hong Kong-based

    - First-growth Bordeauxs dominated, with vintages from Château Mouton-Rothschild, Château Lafite-Rothschild, and Château Pétrus featuring heavily in the top ten

    - The Chinese love affair with 1982 bottles continues unabated, with four lots of 1982 vintages in the top ten


    Christie's Hong Kong wine sales totaled HK$169 million (US$22 million) in 2010#

    - the auction house's highest annual total to date -- with over 96% of all lots sold by value

    Jewels: The Hong Kong Sale#

    Realized: HK$612.6 million (US$78.9 million), 88% sold by lot


    Highest total ever for a jewellery auction in Asia#

    and the largest ever at Christie's worldwide

    - Sale led by "Perfect Pink," a rare 14.23 carat Intense Pink diamond, which sold to an anonymous bidder for HK$179.9 million (US$23.2 million), making it

    the most expensive jewel ever sold in Asia#

    - Aside from the anonymous bidder who purchased the "Perfect Pink" diamond and one international buyer,

    eight of the top 10 lots were sold to Asian collectors#

    Southeast Asian Modern & Contemporary Art#

    Realized: HK$56.7 million (US$7.3 million), 87% sold by lot and 98% sold by value

    Balinesishe Legende (Balinese Legend) by Walter Spies sets a new artist record at HK$16.9 million (US$2.18 million)

    - Auction total represents nearly 70% increase over same sale last year

    - Collectors looked to established artists in category, such as I Nyoman Masriadi and Handiwirman Saputra, as well as younger artists

    The Christie's auction series in Hong Kong continues with

    Fine Chinese Classical Paintings and Calligraphy#


    Fine Chinese Modern Paintings#

    (30 Nov).

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