Colin Gleadell says that young Chinese are driving the market for works of art and they’re pricing the objects with an eye toward Western contemporary art. He gets some back up from Guiseppe Eskenazi, the dean of the trade:
Eskenazi says that the traditional, scholarly taste for earlier Song dynasty (11-13th century AD) ceramics and Ming (14th — 17th century AD) porcelain, on which so many western collections were founded, has been pushed aside over the last 2 or 3 years.
“Western and Japanese collectors liked imperial porcelain,” he says” but not the later more showy examples, which didn’t excite them.” Celebrating his 50th year in business, he has just sold an 18th century Qing dynasty vase for which he was asking $25 million to a Chinese buyer. “It would have been much less three or four years ago,” he says. “The interest I had was all Chinese, and I priced it accordingly.” […] In addition, John Axford of Woolley & Wallis, which last week sold an 18th century white jade carving of a deer for £3.8 million to a collector in Hangzhou, believes the Chinese are comparing the price of their antiques with Western modern art in the belief that it should be worth as much or more.
Art Sales: The Great Haul of China (Telegraph)