reinforced its role as a repatriation channel for treasures of Chinese heritage by mounting the ‘Lost Treasures’ auctions, which offered for sale remarkable objects formerly in Imperial Palaces many of which had been consigned from owners in Europe or the United States. The vast majority of these works were acquired by Asian Chinese buyers. The Autumn 2007 sale season began with the repatriation of a Magnificent Bronze Horse Head of Haiyantang in the Yuanmingyuan (or Summer Palace). The Horse Head had been scheduled for auction in the Hong Kong Autumn 2007 sale of Chinese Works of Art but was purchased privately by Dr. Stanley Ho to donate to China in a sale brokered by Sotheby’s for HK$69.1 million (￡4.42 million, US$8.84 million) - a sum which exceeds any auction price for Qing Sculpture.”
FINE CHINESE PAINTINGS – October 6, 2007
TWO-SALE TOTAL: HK$216,505,753 (US$27,903,107) (est. HK$110.4-147.2 million/US$14.1-18.9 million) - THE MOST SUCCESSFUL SERIES OF FINE CHINESE PAINTINGS SALES EVER HELD AT SOTHEBY’S.
Important Paintings from the Robert Chang Collection (Part 2)
· TOTAL: HK$53,752,250 (US$6,928,128) (est. HK$45.5-59.3 million/US$5.8-7.6 million)
· The top-selling lot in the sale was Qi Baishi’s Peaches and Fire Crackers, which sold for HK$10,183,500 (US$1,312,551).
[Note: Part 1 of the sale of Important Paintings from the Robert Chang Collection took place in Hong Kong in April 2006 and totaled HK$38,716,000.]
Fine Chinese Paintings
· TOTAL: HK$162,735,503 (US$20,974,979) (est. HK$64.9-87.9 million/US$8.3-11.3 million) - nearly double the pre-sale high estimate. Over 80% of the lots sold for more than their high estimates.
· The top lot was the ink and colour on paper On Mt. Loushan by Li Keran, which commanded HK$11,751,500 (US$ 1,514,651). Achieving a new record for the artist at auction, Street Singers by Jiang Zhaohe (lot 238) sold to a private Asian buyer on the telephone for HK$3,487,500 (US$449,504), several times its pre-sale high estimate of HK$120,000.
*The only higher sale total achieved for a various owners auction of Fine Chinese Paintings at Sotheby’s was for a sale at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in October 2005, which achieved HK$174,154, 800.
CONTEMPORARY CHINESE ART – October 7, 2007
· TOTAL: HK$330,070,246 (US$42,542,754) – A RECORD TOTAL FOR A SALE IN THIS CATEGORY.
· The sale brought US$14 million more than the pre-sale high estimate (estimate: HK$156–219 million/US$20.1–28.3 million).
· The top lot of the sale was The Massacre at Chios by Yue Minjun (b.1962), which finally sold - after six minutes of intense competition between seven bidders - to applause for HK$31,687,500 (US$4,084,202), nearly four times its pre-sale low estimate.
· Records for artists at auction were set for works by Cai Guo-Qiang, Yu Chen, Xu Bing, Liu Wei, Wang Guangyi and Zhan Wang.
· 81.3% of works sold above their high estimates and the sale was over 95.8% sold by value.
· In 2007 Sotheby’s worldwide total for dedicated sales of Contemporary Asian Art was US$133,779,527; this compares with a total in 2006 of US$70,331,730 – representing a 90.1% increase – further demonstrating Sotheby’s as global leader