The Economist summarizes London’s Asia week shows and sales as the leading dealers in the Chinese art trade and three major auction houses held strong sales. Here the Economist reveals who the trade believes bought the top lot, a Qianlong seal that was used to mark many of the emperor’s scrolls, which sold for £3.6m or six times the high estimate:
“The market continues to be strong,” said Roger Keverne, the chairman of this year’s Asian Art in London week. “There is demand where there is any level of quality”. Richard Littleton, a New York dealer, secured the jade seal in the face of steady bidding from five other people until nearly the final rounds. Mr Littleton often acts for Edward Johnson, the founder of Fidelity Insurance and one of the most devoted collectors of Chinese fine art in America. Mr Johnson is known to own a scroll with the mark of this seal, and is widely believed to be the buyer.
China Syndrome (Economist)