Hong Kong - Christie’s spring sale of Fine Chinese Classical Paintings and Calligraphy achieved a total of HK$205,111,250 (US$26,418,329) with an overall sold rate of 86% by lot and 91% by value, generating the highest earning sale in the history of the Chinese Classical Painting category for Christie’s.
Ben Kong, International Specialist Head of Christie’s Chinese Paintings Department, said, “The Chinese Classical Paintings & Calligraphy sale this season witnessed the total sale volume increase by 52% as compared to last spring’s sale for the category, making the sale the most valuable Chinese Classical Paintings & Calligraphy sale in the history of Christie’s. Of the sold lots, 73% were sold above the pre-sale estimate. Three achieved in excess of HK$10,000,000, six achieved in excess of HK$5,000,000 and twenty-eight achieved in excess of HK$1,000,000. Of particular note was Dong Qichang’s work, Poems in Running Script Calligraphy, which contains the collectors’ seals of Emperor Qianlong and Emperor Jiaqing and is published in the critically acclaimed literature, Shiqu Baoji. After several rounds of fierce bidding, the work was sold for HK$57,780,000, over ten times the pre-sale estimate. Also included in the top ten is the rare handscroll entitled, Farewell to Wu Kuan. Attributed to revered Ming Dynasty court painter Shen Zhou, the work includes several colophons of renowned collectors dating back to the Ming Dynasty. The important artistic value of this work has been widely recognized by prominent art collectors of each successive dynasty. This lot sold for HK$37,060,000, in multiples of its pre-sale estimate. Another top-selling lot was Fish in Spring Water by an anonymous artist (12th-13th century), which sold for HK$8,420,000, also in multiples of its pre-sale estimate.”
The strong results of the Chinese Classical Paintings & Calligraphy sale affirm the great confidence and enthusiasm of the collectors for this category, made further indicative by the fiercely competitive bidding that ensued within the saleroom. This sale attracted active bidding from a diverse group of international collectors, 84% of which hailed from Greater China. The vigor of the sale confirms the increased sophistication of the market and great potential for growth in the category of Chinese Classical Painting, with buyers competing for exceptional works of superlative quality and important provenance.
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