Frederick Balfour reports for Bloomberg on Christie’s Hong Kong sales over the weekend. All together, the sales brought in 3.03bn HKD or $319m which is done from the 3.19bn HKD Christie’s did last year and the 3.42bn HKD Sotheby’s did in April.
If the Hong Kong market is cooling that may not be a bad thing for the global art trade. Much of the frenzied interest has turned toward the Contemporary market which might give Asian buyers a little breathing room and chance to regroup. Meanwhile, as the the above lots from the Contemporary Asian Evening sale show, there are still upside surprises in China’s big names. Balfour explains:
“Mainlanders are becoming more educated and selective,” James Hennessy, a Hong Kong-based dealer, said in an interview outside the sales room. “They aren’t willing to throw vast sums at mediocre material. They know the difference between a great Zeng Fanzhi and a so-so one.”
The auctions of modern and contemporary Asian art, classical Chinese paintings and ceramics, jewelry, watches and wine raised less for Christie’s than last year’s HK$3.19 billion spring sale and the HK$3.42 billion sold by Sotheby’s at similar auctions in April.
- Liu Wei’s 1998 painting titled “Landscape” sold on May 24 for HK$21.4 million, breaking the artist’s previous record of HK$20.3 million set at a Christie’s sale in November.
- A Song dynasty (1127-1279) chrysanthemum-shaped dish that sold at auction for 1,400 pounds ($2,348) in 1975 fetched HK$25.9 million after a prolonged bidding war yesterday.
Song Dynasty Dish Leads Christie’s $391 Million Auctions (Businessweek)