[intro]Even in Paris![/intro]
We’ve gotten so used to viewing London as the world center of the Chinese art trade that December’s sales in Paris of Chinese Works of Art caught many by surprise. Not the Economist, their crack folks were all over the sales. Japanese and Chinese works–bought by Western collectors primarily–had a hard time in Paris. The Chinese market, however, never seems to disappoint these days. Here’s the Economist on the sales:
At Sotheby’s Paris sale 294 lots of Chinese works of art were offered, at Christie’s slightly fewer—233 lots. Although Sotheby’s bought-in rate was higher (at just under 30%, whereas Christie’s was just under 20%), what did sell went spectacularly well, most of it to Chinese buyers.
- Nearly two-thirds of the Chinese art in Sotheby’s auction sold for more than the top estimate.
- At Christie’s over 70% of the lots surpassed the high estimate, some for as much as 12 times the price they were expected to fetch.
Dealers have come to believe that anything Chinese will sell in this market, as long as there is nothing wrong with it. The Paris sales were proof that they are right. At Christie’s only three of the 192 lots that sold fetched less than the low estimate. This also means the estimates were set at a sensible level.
Don’t Be Greedy (Economist.com)