Driven by wealthy Asian bidders, Chinese art continues to enjoy unprecedented sales. On April 4, Sotheby’s Hong Kong generated $30 million USD at its 20th Century Chinese Art Sale, which represented the highest ever total for such an auction. The sale was led by Chu The-Chun’s Inspiration Hivernale, which fetched $3.67 million USD.
A day later, Sotheby’s Fine Chinese Paintings Sale enjoyed even greater success with sales topping out at a record-breaking $83 million. The top lot was Zhang Qiyan’s Spring Mountains in Sichuan, which went under the hammer for $8.27 million, more than three times its estimate. All 308 lots except one found a home at the auction.
C.K. Cheung, Head of Sotheby’s Fine Chinese Paintings department, said: “The auction market for Fine Chinese Paintings goes from strength to strength, and our success last October enabled us to assemble a sale focused on quality that offered choice works by distinguished masters in a vast range of subject matters, which proved very appealing to the market. While buying in today’s sale was overwhelmingly Asian, the ultimate prices we have achieved are due to the active participation of underbidders from around the world.”