CHRISTIE’S HONG KONG CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF SUCCESS A History of Unmatched Excellence as Sales Exceed HK$2.07 billion/US$267 million
Reaching 57% Market Share, 12th Consecutive Year of Leadership in Asia
market, as most are housed in museums. Christie’s Hong Kong, with its unrivalled reputation and wealth of
expertise, has however been entrusted with the sale of many such rare works, including Emperor Qianlong’s Review
of the Grand Parade of Troops, 18th Century, which realized an astounding US$3,429,888 in April 2004, then a world
auction record for a Qing Imperial painting.
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In 2002, the 20th Century Chinese art sale, previously staged at Taipei for over ten years, was moved to Christie’s
Hong Kong biannual sales series to consolidate the city’s role as the hub of the Asian art auction world. The
move was echoed by the sale of The Yageo Foundation Collection from Taiwan at Christie’s Hong Kong – one
of the foremost collections of modern & contemporary Chinese art – in October 2004 and May 2005.
In its 2005 Spring sale, Christie’s Hong Kong reached another apex in the market – Zao Wou-Ki’s Juin-Octobre
1985 sold for US$2,345,200, then a world auction record for a Chinese oil painting. It is a picturesque testament
of the forward-thinking vision and distinctive insight of Christie’s Hong Kong into the auction business ever
since its inception.
Christie’s initiated yet another pioneering move by giving birth to the Asian Contemporary Art sale in November
2005, the first of its kind in the world solely devoted to cutting-edge Chinese, Korean and Japanese art. Yue
Minjun’s Gweong-Gweong fetched US$641,680, achieving a world auction record for a contemporary Chinese
painting. The overwhelming enthusiasm from collectors worldwide for this sale has resulted in the successful
introduction of Asian art’s avant-garde concepts and diverse artistic ideals to an international audience.
Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art
The strength of Christie’s Hong Kong in Asian art auctions is due largely to Chinese ceramics and works of art.
The first auction in 1987 started out as a great success, and since then numerous world record prices were
achieved in every sale. Christie’s led the market to a new height by launching special theme sales in Asia – The
Imperial Sale starting from 1996, offering solely Imperial Chinese ceramics and works of art. It was the first
theme sale of its kind in the world, generating much excitement and interest amongst international collectors.
Christie’s brought to the market a much wider array of exceptional Chinese works of art, including jade carvings,
Buddhist sculptures, classical furniture, scholar objects and textiles. A highly important large Imperial
embroidered silk Thanka, Yongle period (1403-1425) which sold for US$4,013,633 in April 2002, achieved a
world auction record price for any Asian textile is particularly noteworthy. A number of prestigious single owner
sales, including the R.H.R. Palmer Collection (1989), the Jingguantang Collection (1996), the Robert Chang
Collection (1999 & 2000), and the Manno Collection (2002) were incredibly triumphant.
Over the last ten years, ceramics from the Ming Dynasty have been largely undervalued in the auction market,
eclipsed by high prices for ceramics from the early Qing Dynasty. Christie’s Hong Kong, however, strengthened