Sotheby’s just released its sales totals for the Spring sales in Hong Kong where results have surpassed expectations created by regional economic weakness. The rich are clearly still after collected cultural assets like art, jewels, porcelains and bronze works. Whether they’re buying out of passion or as a store of value is anyone’s guess. But the numbers do show that the art economy is not directly tied to the broader economy in Asia (or anywhere else for that matter.)
Bloomberg’s Frederick Balfour spoke to an art advisor:
“The results seemed to defy expectations,” said Edie Hu, art advisory specialist at Citi Private Bank in Hong Kong. “I thought things would be softer.”
Sotheby’s press release contained this wry comment from regional head Kevin Ching:
“If this is what a correction feels like, then I sure hope we have one in the autumn too, because our sales are up 17% over last spring,” Ching said.