Bloomberg Le-Min Lim previews Sotheby’s Asia Week sales in Hong Kong as the market for Chinese works of art continues to improve and impress:
“Top art collectors in China are in a mood to buy, especially rare antiques,” said Lu Feifei, a Shanghai-based art dealer and one of the biggest buyers at Sotheby’s sale last year […]
Buyers are preferring antiques over contemporary-art pieces, believing older artworks are better stores of value with the economic recovery just beginning, said Lu. Auction companies such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s International face sluggish sales in Europe and the U.S., where economies are in a recession caused by the credit crunch. […] A 50 percent increase in consignments at this auction compared with the company’s sale six months ago is another sign of Asia’s art-market rebound, Kevin Ching, Sotheby’s chief executive, said in a telephone interview.
“When people believe the market is recovering,” said Ching, “then they will have no problem parting with the good stuff because they will get a good price for it.” […]
“Many items are rightly-priced and there are a few bargains in the ceramics category,” said Lu, 32. The low estimates may attract fierce bidding that drives prices up, said Lu, who buys for himself and mainland Chinese clients, many of whom are entrepreneurs and bankers.
Ching said estimates in some categories remain at the low levels of six months ago, when Asia was still roiled by the credit crisis.