Two people, who both paid deposits, are now being sued by Sotheby’s, which has decided to publicise the writs.
Ma Dong, a man from the Daxing district in Beijing, won three paintings by bidding just under HK$50m in total on October 4 – including one by Zhang Daqian, one of the most respected 20th century Chinese artists. He has yet to pay for any of them, according to the auction house.
On October 3, Ren Chunxia, a woman with an address in Jinan, eastern China, won two oil paintings by the Chinese master Wu Guanzhong with bids of HK$18.6m and HK$26.4m respectively. These were paid for within the standard 30-day limit. However, she has yet to pay for a painting by the abstract artist Zao Wou-ki, which she bid HK$69m for on the same day. That price was a new auction record for the artist and nearly double the high-end of Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate.
Mr Ma has until the middle of February to reply to the writ. The case against Ms Ren was launched in early December and Sotheby’s would not provide any detail on its progress.
Chinese art bidders named in payment dispute (Financial Times)