This year, Christie’s celebrates its 30th anniversary in Asia. François Curiel, who joined Christie’s as an intern in 1969 and is now Chairman of Asia-Pacific, recalls the first sale in January 1986 at the Mandarin hotel: ‘a tiny little auction by today's standards: 200 lots and at that time maybe two million dollars.’ Today, as Curiel explains, the sales contain 4,000 lots and generate around 500 million dollars.
‘Christie's would not survive without the specialists, they are the heart of our business, and they work very closely together to catalogue, evaluate and give the best possible service to our clients, buyers or sellers,’ says Curiel, who has 47 years of service with the company, and who came to Asia in 2009 to develop the salerooms in Hong Kong and China.
‘Christie’s history is also the history of collectors,’ continues Curiel, himself a collector of auctioneer’s hammers and jewellery boxes. ‘We have been dealing with collectors for more than 30 years in Asia. Collecting is in our DNA and our role is to transmit works of art from one generation to the other.’
To mark the 30th anniversary of Christie’s in Asia, the Hong Kong 2016 Spring Auctions feature an array of curated highlights. These include 30 Years: The Sale, which brings together 30 exceptional lots representing the most significant and important pieces in their respective categories.