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  • Press release
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  • Hong Kong
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  • For immediate release
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  • 28 May 2021

RESULTS | Christie’s Hong Kong Chinese Paintings Spring Season Totalled HK$456,192,875 / US$59,043,360

Combined Sales Achieved Sell-Through Rate of 83%

65% of Lots Sold Above High Estimates

Splash-Ink Masterpiece By Zhang Daqian Fetched Over HK$200 Million

Second-Highest Price Ever Realised for the Artist at Auction

Highest Price in 5 Years for the Artist at Auction

 Prominent Private Collections and

Themed Curation of Buddhism in Art 100% Sold

 

Hong Kong – On 26 and 27 May, 2021, Christie’s held two live auctions of Chinese Paintings – Fine Chinese Classical Paintings and Calligraphy and Fine Chinese Modern and Contemporary Ink Paintings. Together with Zhang Daqian’s splash-ink masterpiece Temple at the Mountain Peak offered in the Evening sale on 24 May, as well as the Exquisite Eye: Chinese Paintings Online sale held from 11-26 May, the series of sales totalled HK$456,192,875 / US$59,043,360.

Kim Yu, International Specialist Head of Chinese Paintings Department, commented: “This season’s performance reaffirms Christie’s strength in sourcing the most coveted masterworks from renowned artists to achieve outstanding results. Not only did Zhang Daqian’s splash-ink masterpiece Temple at the Mountain Peak soar to impressive new heights, but numerous important works also sold for multiple times the pre-sale estimates, demonstrating the continued market appetite for works of illustrious provenance. Prominent private collections also performed exceptionally well, representing Christie’s ability to offer extraordinary Chinese paintings to the most distinguished collectors.”

A MODERN MASTERPIECE

The leading highlight of the season is the magnificent Temple at the Mountain Peak by Zhang Daqian (below) which sold for HK$209,100,000 / US$27,062,468, to become the second-highest price ever achieved for the artist at auction. It is also the highest auction price realised in five years for the artist, continuing Christie’s leadership in bringing the finest works by Zhang Daqian to auction.

Painted on luxurious gold paper and splashed in rich and vibrant mineral colours of blue and green, this monumental splashed ink painting was created in 1967 and is considered one of the most representative examples of the artist’s time in Brazil. Previously in the collection of Li Zulai and his wife Li Deying, whom shared an intimate friendship with Zhang Daqian, the rare masterpiece bears exceptional provenance and it has been a privilege for Christie’s to present the work at auction this season.

View the result here.

TOP LOT OF THE SALE SERIES

Fine Chinese Modern and Contemporary Ink Paintings

Zhang Daqian

Temple at the Mountain Peak

Price Realised: HK$209,100,000 / US$27,062,468

Fine Chinese Classical Paintings and Calligraphy

On 26 May, Fine Chinese Classical Paintings and Calligraphy totalled HK$72,872,500 / US$9,429,147 with a sell-through rate of 72% by lot and 65% of lots sold above high estimates.

The top lot of the sale was Seven Poems in Running Script by Wen Zhengming (below), which sold for nine times its pre-sale low estimate at HK$18,250,000 / US$2,361,411.

The sale also saw exceptional results achieved for Cranes on Pine by Lu Ji (HK$5,750,000 / US$744,006) and Small-Character Calligraphy in Standard Script by Huang Daozhou (HK$5,250,000 / US$679,310). Numerous works sold for multiples of its pre-sale estimates including Rubbing and Calligraphy by Wang Guowei which opened at HK$60,000 to fetch HK$3,750,000 / US$485,221 after an intense bidding battle, and Warrior God of Heaven by Prince Zhuang (Possibly Boggodo, 1650-1723) which sold for more than six times its high estimate at HK$2,500,000 / US$323,481.

View full results here.

Fine Chinese Classical Paintings and Calligraphy

TOP LOT

Wen Zhengming

Seven Poems in Running Script

Price Realised: HK$18,250,000 / US$2,361,411

Fine Chinese Modern and Contemporary Ink Paintings

On 27 May, Fine Chinese Modern and Contemporary Paintings and Calligraphy achieved HK$167,863,750 / US$21,733,874 with a sell-through rate of 85% and 66% of lots sold above high estimates.

The top lot of the sale was Landscape Hidden in Mist after Bi Hong by Zhang Daqian (below), which achieved HK$25,450,000 / US$3,295,096. Other notable highlights include The Three Gorges of the Yangtze River by Wu Guanzhong, which sold for HK$9,850,000 / US$1,275,31 and Landscape Inspired by Shitao’s Poem by Fu Baoshi which realised HK$8,650,000 / US$1,119,944, while Eight Characters Calligraphic Couplet in Standard Script by Qi Gong was acquired for almost 4.5 times over pre-sale low estimate at HK$5,375,000 / US$695,919.

Continuing our leadership in offering the finest private collections to auction, The Collection Of Zhang Xinjia was 100% sold, realising almost three times its pre-sale high estimate. Numerous works from the collection will be offered in our upcoming online sale in August.  All works in the Family Collection of Ma Shun Ying found buyers, while our full offering of Chen Qikuan’s paintings to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth was also 100% sold, with proceeds from three works from the group benefiting the Yale University Art Gallery. The themed curation of Buddhism in Art: An Ensemble of Buddhist Painting and Calligraphy from 20th Century China attracted strong interest from collectors to sell 100%.

View full results here.

Fine Chinese Modern and Contemporary Ink Paintings

TOP LOT

Zhang Daqian

Landscape Hidden in Mist after Bi Hong

Price Realised: HK$25,450,000 / US$3,295,096

Exquisite Eye: Chinese Paintings Online

The Chinese Paintings Online sale from 11-26 May achieved HK$6,356,625 / US$822,588, with a sell-through rate of 89%, and totalled 181% of pre-sale low estimate.

Top lot of the sale is Reading in the Cottage by Feng Zikai, which sold for HK$437,500 / US$56,609 (below).

View full results here.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.