Sotheby’s wraps up its Hong Kong sales cycle coinciding with Golden Week in China. Once again, the Saturday night Evening sale of Modern and Contemporary Asian painting was the highest grossing sale in the cycle. That’s a recent shift from porcelains and Chinese works of art:
The top lot was an 18th century portrait of the consort of emperor Qianlong painted by Italian court artist Giuseppe Castiglione that sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for HK$137.4 million, more than double its low estimate of HK$60 million, a record for imperial portraiture.
Other auction highlights included a Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring that sold for HK$52.3 million and a vintage Patek Philippe watch for HK$7.8 million, the auction house said.
[Sohteby’s Nicholas] Chow said the Castiglione painting failed to sell at auction in 2003 during the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong, when the top bid of HK$12 million didn’t achieve the reserve price. On Wednesday, the bidding lasted for about 20 minutes.
Chinese Painting Leads $344 Million Sotheby’s Asia Sale (Bloomberg Business)