Bloomberg makes a big deal about the failure of some of the top lots in Christie’s Hong Kong sale of Fine Chinese Painting which is classical-style works painted in the modern era. While there’s something to the fact that the lot with the second highest estimate didn’t sell and another by the same artist had to be knocked down below the original reserve, the examples above and the overall sale total suggest buyers were more interested in valuing the works themselves than letting the vendors determine which would be most prized.
Here’s Bloomberg’s take on the sale:
“In Beijing a credit crunch is on, and prices are coming to a more realistic level,” said Anthony Lin, a consultant on Chinese art. “That crazy insane level of top prices element is simmering down.”
The second-most-expensive work offered in the fine Chinese modern paintings sale failed to sell. It was an ink-and-color painting by 20th-century Chinese master Zhang Daqian with a presale estimate of HK$20 million to HK$40 million.
Another of his works with the same low estimate only found a buyer when bidding was reopened with a reduced reserve price. The painting, “Verdant Mountains and Layered Peaks After Rain,” sold for HK$21.9 million, including buyer’s premium.
Chinese Scrolls, 36-Carat Diamonds Dominate Hong Kong Sale (Bloomberg)