Sotheby’s Fine Chinese Painting sale refutes any claims of slowing Chinese interest in art. Of the top 100 lots, 96 were sold above the high estimate.
Sotheby’s Hong Kong Fine Chinese Paintings sale brought in HK$304,897,000 ($39m.) Le-Min Lim looked at the top lot:
An ink depiction by Fu Baoshi of three men mulling over a game of Go fetched HK$38.7 million ($5 million) in Hong Kong, the priciest item at an auction of classical Chinese paintings marked by fervent mainland buying.
“Chess Playing,” painted by Fu (1904-1965) seven decades ago, was won by Beijing-based antique collector and dealer Wu Qun after a 10-minute tug-of-war that escalated at a HK$2 million-a-bid clip. The piece was sold for more than five times its top estimate and was one of several fiercely contested items at yesterday’s packed sale that tallied HK$418 million, the most in this category for host Sotheby’s.