Artinfo has an interview with Nicholas Chow, Sotheby’s Chinese ceramics expert, announcing another sale of 41 items from the Meiyintang Collection, the massive holdings from two Swiss brothers, Stephen and Gilbert Zuellig. The sale will be held in Hong Kong in October. Artinfo goes along with Sotheby’s explanation for the weakness of the first sale, namely that celebrated cases of Chinese buyers not paying for works they had bought at auction put off serious buyers who were not willing to compete against phantom bids.
That goes against much of the contemporary reporting of the sale which blamed the need for bidders to be pre-approved, the ambitious estimates placed on the works and certain ambivalence upon the part of the sellers in setting their reserves on the day of the sale. However, in the interview, Chow tacitly admits the estimates were the culprit:
These pieces are certainly aimed at the sweet spot of the market, and the estimates seem to me to be rather conservative.
We’ve made a great effort to have very enticing estimates this season, and from the feedback I have already received from two or three key collectors that I have shown these objects to, I think this sale will go extremely well. I wanted to make sure coming into this season that our estimates are well calibrated and the feedback I’ve received so far is extremely positive. I think we will see some good balanced buying from different parts of the globe.