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The interior of one of a pair of Yongzheng (1723-35) peach bowls that led Christie’s Hong Kong series selling at HK$45m (£2.7m).

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While Christie's published a massive tower of catalogues (there were eight in all) for sales at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 27-31, Bonhams also signalled its intentions in the Asia art market with the first three auctions it has ever held in Hong Kong on May 26.

The five-day auction series held by Christie's, combining the usual blend of diamond-encrusted wristwatches, portraits by Zhang Xiaogang and mark and period porcelain from the Imperial kilns, totalled HK$1.52 billion (£98m).

As has become the norm in recent years an insatiable appetite for 20th and 21st century Asian art provided the lion's share of this number - and selling rates were consistently over 90 per cent.

The results for Chinese ceramics and works of art were less consistent - demonstrating the polarisation that was evident in London the previous week - but nevertheless provided the highlight of the series: a pair of Yongzheng famille rose 'peach' bowls that sold to London dealer Eskenazi for HK$45m (£2.7m).

The take up at Bonhams sales at the AsiaWorld-Expo at the International Airport was much lower with sales of Contemporary Asian Art and Chinese works of art both recording disappointing selling rates of less than one third. There was a better response to the so-called Green Willow Hall collection of 88 Ming and Qing Dynasty jade carvings, formed by an Asian collector, buying through top dealers and auction houses, over two decades. Of these, 49 were sold.

The three auctions saw a sold total in the region of HK$40m with the results buoyed by the private sale immediately after the auction of a mid-14th century blue and white storage jar that had failed in the room at its estimate of HKD10-15 million.

Bonhams second series of Hong Kong auctions will take place on November 27, and will again feature Classical and Contemporary Chinese paintings and works of art, as well as two new categories: Western and Jadeite Jewellery, and Watches.