Sotheby’s sale of Chinese paintings had a surprise breakout $35m sale of Zhang Daiqan’s Peach Blossom Spring which was won by Liu Yiqian after a reported 50 minute battle:
The landscape painting, characterised by splash ink and intense colour, is considered one of the most important works from Zhang’s late period. It had a pre-sale estimate at HK$65 million, including buyer’s premium.
The auction, which took place in a packed bidding room, started at HK$30 million.
Initial bidding raged between bidders on the phone and on the floor, but slowed down at around HK$100 million.
Four phone bidders competed for the painting initially, with two giving up at HK$138 million.
A mysterious new phone bidder joined the contest at HK$152 million, sparking applause in the bidding room.
“This is crazy,” said a buyer on the floor. The bidding carried on and at HK$177 million another new bidder joined the game.
Sotheby’s sells Zhang Daqian painting for a record HK$240 million in Hong Kong auction (South China Morning Post)