Highlights Of Sotheby's Record-Breaking Spring Auctions In Hong Kong

    Over the course of the week, the auction series took in a record-breaking grand total of HK$2 billion (US$256 million) -- the highest-ever total for a Hong Kong auction series, and well above the pre-sale estimate of HK$1.3 billion (US$167 million).
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Finance

    Series Of Auctions A Selling Success; Mainland Chinese Collectors Flex Their Muscles#

    As Jing Daily has reported throughout the week, Sotheby's spring auctions in Hong Kong have been a major success, continuing and increasing the momentum we saw there last autumn. Beginning with the fifth installment of the "Classic Cellar From A Great American Collector" wine series last Saturday and wrapping up today with Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, the auction series took in a record-breaking grand total of

    HK$1,998,193,520 (US$256,178,656)#

    -- the highest-ever total for a Hong Kong auction series, and well above the pre-sale estimate of HK$1,301,722,000 (US$166,887,436).

    As Nicolas Chow, Sotheby’s senior director for China and Southeast Asia, told the Wall Street Journal, it appears that prices across all categories are on a "one-way elevator upward in [the Asian] market today," with "extremely fierce" bidding seen among bidders. According to Chow, a major factor in this week's record-breaking bidding came down to "the entrance of mainland Chinese buyers," not much of a surprise, since these buyers are developing a reputation for going well above estimates for coveted items.

    While Sotheby's Hong Kong offices continue to celebrate their success, let's take a look at some of the highlights of his wide-ranging and history-making auction series.

    April 3: The Classic Cellar From A Great American Collector V#

    - Sale Total: HK$49,685,020 (US$6,369,874)
    - Sotheby’s Hong Kong wine auctions remain 100% Sold

    April 5: Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings#

    - Sale total: HK$69,292,000 (US$8,883,590)
    - Lee Man Fong’s Bali Life sold for HK$25,300,000 / US$3,240,000 (World Record for any Southeast Asian Paintings and World Record for the Artist at Auction)

    April 5: 20th Century Chinese Art#

    - Sale Total: HK$102,609,000 (US$13,155,000)
    - Zao Wou-Ki (Zhao Wuji)’s "4.4.1959" sold for HK$20,820,000/ US$2,669,231 (Double its high estimate)

    April 5:#

    Contemporary Asian Art#

    April 6: Fine Chinese Paintings#

    - Sale Total: HK$418,212,000 (US$53,616,923)
    - Highest combined total for any seasonal sale series in this category at Sotheby’s Hong Kong
    - Qi Baishi’s "Tiger" Fetched HK$32,020,000/US$4,105,128

    April 7: Important Watches#

    - Sale Total: HK$53,645,750 (US$6,877,660)
    - Highest total for a various owners sale of watches at Sotheby’s Hong Kong

    April 7: Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite#

    - Sale Total: HK$408,782,750 (US$52,408,045)
    - Highest total ever for a sale of this category conducted by Sotheby’s Hong Kong

    April 8: Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art#

    - Sale Total: HK$751,086,000 (US$96,293,077)
    - Imperially inscribed Qianlong period "Tai Shang Huang Di" white jade seal pulls in HK$95,860,000 (US$12,289,744)

    If there was any question why auction houses around the world are focusing more on Hong Kong and the China market than their established home bases, this series of auctions should provide a definitive answer: Chinese collectors have arrived. We'll be sure to keep a close eye on upcoming Christie's and Bonham's in Hong Kong this May.

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