NEW YORK—Asian art auctions set another round of records at Christie’s Hong Kong in late November. Auctions held Nov. 27-30 included Chinese ceramics, classical Chinese paintings, calligraphy, works of art and 20th century Chinese art. An overall sales record of $US139 million (HK$1.08 billion) was set for lots that included Asian art, jewelry and watches.
Asserting the strength of the market in Asia and specifically Hong Kong, Edward Dolman, CEO, Christie’s International, said, “We have surpassed the HK$1 billion mark—the first time any auction house in Asia has achieved this for a series of sales.” Of the total, $100.6 million pertained to Asian art.
Chinese ceramics made $31.79 million, with three pieces setting records: An Imperial embellished cloisonné enamel butter-tea jar, cover and stand, Qianlong period (1736-1795), went to Littleton & Hennessy, New York, for $1.39 million.
Sales of 20th-century Chinese art totaled $22.51 million and registered three artists’ records at auction, including: Four Nudes (from the collection of the Yageo Foundation in Taiwan), by Sanyu (Chang Yu, 1901-66), which sold for $2.12 million at twice the high estimate; Artist Self Portrait, by Pan Yuliang (1895-1977), which brought $1.25 million, more than twice the high estimate; and Autumn, by Chu Teh-Chun (Zhu Dequn, b. 1920), which took $962,000. All three works were bought by private Asian collectors.
Eric Chang, senior director, modern and contemporary Asian pictures, and head of 20th-century Chinese art, said the sale “demonstrates the growing confidence in this exciting market and is a testament to Hong Kong’s role as a leading sale center for Chinese contemporary art.”
Modern and contemporary Chinese paintings earned $21.41 million. A picture by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), Water Bamboo Village, was the top seller at $612,560, slightly above the high estimate of $516,000.
Modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art totaled $5.58 million. The top artist in this category was Indonesian Lee Man Fong (1913-1988), for his Rojak seller, which fell for $510,640, above the high estimate. A record was set for Filipino artist Carlos V. Francisco (1913-1969) when his Magpupukot (Pulling in the Net) was acquired for $187,200.