The Asian art juggernaut thunders on with little sign of any slowdown in the market. If anything, the pace seems to be intensifying.
Hot on the heels of a mammoth Asian series in New York,
Sotheby's launched their latest spring crop of sales in Hong
The four-day series, which ran from April 7-10, featured over 1200
lots of Contemporary art, Chinese ceramics and objects, jewellery
and watches. It produced the now commonplace multi-million dollar
totals and string of blockbuster prices and ended up surpassing the
previous month's New York tally when it chalked up a
premium-inclusive HK$1.05bn ($134.3m/£71.4m).
Contemporary Chinese art has been the new hot ticket and fastest
area of growth for the past couple of years and Sotheby's added
more fuel to that fire, setting a new record in terms of total, at
a premium-inclusive HK$214.5m, and for an individual work when Xu
Beihong's Put down your Whip, realised HK$64m (£4.35m). It is
discussed in this week's Art Market on page 33.
But earlier works of art and ceramics were not eclipsed, sales in
this arena achieved more than twice the paintings' total at
A single-owner collection consigned from Paris helped to produce
this figure, with results like the HK$20m (£1.36m) paid by Hong
Kong dealer Chak's Company for a Yongzheng mark and period famille
rose altar vase, but there were strong results throughout the three
They included the 93/4in (25cm) high Wanli mark and period wucai
decorated wine ewer pictured above that was purchased by Littleton
and Hennessy Asian Art for HK$14.5m (£986,395).
This piece, which was once part of the British Rail Pension Fund
holdings, is traditionally thought to have been given by Queen
Elizabeth I to her personal chaplain Bishop Parry
If this is so, it would make it one of the very first pieces of
Imperial porcelain to have arrived in England.
By Anne Crane
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