Bloomberg’s Frederik Balfour was on the scene at Sotheby’s mainland China sale:
The 1958 oil-on-canvas painting titled “Abstraction” by Zao sold to a mainlander in the room for 89.68 million yuan ($14.7 million) smashing the previous auction record of $11 million set on Oct. 5 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.
“This shows that there are strong buyers on the mainland,” said Pascal de Sarthe, a Hong Kong-based dealer. “Five years ago, they wouldn’t have been buying at the top end.’’”
China is the fastest growing source of clients for international auction houses as increasing affluence is driving demand for art and collectibles as alternative investments.
The auction was held in conjunction with three private sales of western old masters, modern paintings, furniture and jewelry offered by the New York-based auction house, with an estimated combined value of $212 million.