So it was something of a sensation when Geble (19% buyer’s premium) in Radolfzell, on the shores of Lake Constance in Germany, had three of his works to sell on April 29.
Cheong Soo Pieng is considered to be one of south Asia’s most important 20th century artists. The paintings at Geble had been bought by a German manager in a gallery in Singapore in 1983 and were offered by his descendants.
Seventeen phone bidders from all over Asia competed with bidders in the room, producing some substantial results.
The 2ft 18in (60 x 45cm) Malay Woman Collecting Water from 1979 went from €20,000 to €57,000 (£48,720). Sisters, two Malay Women sitting on the Floor measuring 2ft 2in (65cm) square went from €20,000 to €65,000 (£55,550) and the slightly larger Two Seated Malay Women (2ft 6in x 2ft; 77 x 62cm), quadrupled its estimate with a hammer price of €80,000 (£68,375). The buyers came from Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur respectively.