Auction records tumble as crowds flock to sales exploring the evolution of taste in Asia across centuries
Celebrating Christie’s 250th anniversary, the Hong Kong Autumn auctions attracted almost 30,000 visitors to the HKCEC Grand Hall for a series of innovative and groundbreaking sales that were enthusiastically received by international collectors.
The season achieved a series of world records, with 21 alone set by the Christie’s Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art department, including new highs for works by iconic artists such as Sanyu, Chu-teh Chun, Lin Fengmian and Atsuko Tanaka.
‘The week of sales attracted both new and long-standing buyers across price levels, styles, media and periods, testifying to the increasingly cross-category and international tastes of collectors in the region,’ said Rebecca Wei, President of Christie’s Asia. ‘The Christie’s Hong Kong saleroom continues to grow into a global epicentre of art and culture.’
In 2016, Christie’s commitment to selling and exhibiting international works of art in Asia has been seen with the Picasso exhibition in Beijing, the unveiling of the world’s most expensive Monet in Hong Kong and The Loaded Brush special selling exhibition during the Hong Kong Sales week. ‘It reaffirms our commitment to bringing outstanding art to Asia,’ Wei added. Below, some of the highlights from a busy and successful week in Hong Kong.
The highlight of the season was Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, 1988, which realised HK$1,347,500/ $174,491. Wines were offered from several distinguished private collections, with strong international bidding and high sell-through rates.
Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art
Top lot of the sale series was Chrysanthemums in a Glass Vase by Sanyu, which realised HK$103,580,000 / $13,412,854. World auction records were set for 21 artists, including modern masters such as Chu-teh Chun, Lin Fengmian and Atsuko Tanaka. Results from the auctions demonstrate that Contemporary and Modern artists from Vietnam, Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea continue to gain prominence on the world stage.
The season’s top price was achieved by Landscapes and Flowers by Bada Shanren, which realised HK$39,740,000 / $5,146,040, more than 10 times its high estimate. Almost half of all lots exceeded high estimates.
The highlight this season was The Ratnaraj, a 10.05 ct rare Burmese ruby, which fetched HK$78,940,000 / $10,226,448, setting the third-highest price per carat of $1,017.557 for a ruby. The sale, which was led by a Moussaieff blue diamond ring which achieved $2.7m per carat, attracted 149 buyers from 23 countries across four continents.
The top lot of the sale season was a Painted Anhua-Decorated Blue and White ‘Dragon’ Stem Bowl, which realised HK$68,860,000 / $8,917,900. The season also featured the sale of Chinese Ceramics from the Yangdetang Collection, offering works of renowned provenance. A combined 34 per cent of lots in both sales exceeded their high estimates.
Leading the sale was a One-of-a-kind set of 8 Leather Forever Star Bags, which realised HK$2,460,000 / $318,589, setting a new world record for a collection of miniature handbags by Hermès. An additional highlight was a one-of-a-kind Passe-Guide Star bag, previously showcased in the Leather Forever exhibition, which realised HK$500,000 / $64,754.
To view full results for all 17 sales, click here.