It will be remembered as one of the most extraordinary sales. Originally estimated at $27-38m, Japan’s Fujita Museum in Osaka de-accessioned 31 works to raise funds for an expansion. One lot made more than the entire pre-sale high estimate—and then some—this Six Dragons scroll by Chen Rong.
Bidding throughout the evening was sustained and deep. At one point, a bidder in the front rows put up a paddle and held it aloft. Jussi Pylkkanen, the auctioneer, his patience showing the tiniest hair-line crack like a piece of crackle-glazed porcelain, firmly asked the bidder to lower the pointlessly held paddle.
The entire sale made $262.8m with premium. One lot failed to find a buyer.