Sotheby’s jumped into spring with full force in Hong Kong. From March 31 to April 4, the world-renowned auction house flouted, among plenty of other finery, impressive arrays of wine and Asian art.
While the Chinese government cut its annual growth target to 7.5 percent this year, buyers still clamored to secure some of the most luxurious goods in the world.
Sotheby’s officials expected the two-day wine sale, featuring Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, to accrue HK$57.3 million. But thanks to wild demand, especially for two lots of Romanee Conti 1988 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti that sold for KH$1.6 million, the sale exceeded expectations to gross HK$63.6 million.
The 20th Century Art sale on April 2 also exceeded expectations, topping a projected HK$238 million with a total of K$255 million. Zao Wou-Ki’s abstract painting 25.06.86 set a world record when it fetched HK$25.3 million. Another highlight was Wang Yidong’s Morning Mist in Mengshan selling for HK$11.9 million.
Sylvie Chen, Sotheby’s Head of 20th Century Chinese Art said the sale “represented Sotheby’s first offering of photographic works in the context of a sale of 20th Century Chinese Art, and we are very pleased that all seventeen works found buyers.” All in all, an impressive 90.7 percent of the lots successfully found buyers.
The Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings were not as successful, nor was the Contemporary Asian Art Sale. With 20 percent and 25 percent of lots remaining unsold respectively, both sales fell short of their presale high estimates. One high point, however, was the sale of Zhang Xiaogang’s “Bloodline – Big Family: Family No. 2” for HK$52.2 million. The painting had never been put on public display prior to the auction.
“We are pleased that this rarity, which sold for twice its estimate, will go into a private museum in Shanghai,” Evelyn Lin, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Asian Art, said.
Sotheby’s top rival, Christies, will host its spring sale from May 25 to May 30.
photo credit: sotheby’s