Mon, May 28, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Auctions on Hong Kong rake in cash despite economy

Bloomberg

Asian Art collectors and wine lovers, undaunted by economic jitters elsewhere in the world, flocked to Hong Kong auctions held by five houses to snap up bottles of Petrus, contemporary art and snuff boxes.

Christie’s International five-day spring sale on Saturday got off to a perfect start selling 100 percent of the lots at its wine auction, while more than 90 percent of Asian Contemporary and 20th Century works sold at an evening auction for a total of HK$362 million (US$46.7 million).

“It was pretty good after everybody was forecasting it would be bad because of the economic problems of Europe,” Hong Kong-based dealer Edouard Malingue said.

The most expensive lot of the evening was Blue Chyrsanthemum in a Glass Vase, an oil painting by 20th century Chinese artist Sanyu (常玉) that sold for HK$47.7 million that almost doubled a pre-sale highest estimate of HK$28 million.

A record for Indonesian artist Affandi was set when his work At the Cockfight sold for HK$5.54 million, more than three times its highest estimate.

Fine wine demand proved resilient at Zachys’ Friday-Saturday sale, where 97 percent of lots sold. The New York-based auction house sold HK$57.59 worth of wine led by a 6-liter methuselah of Romanee-Conti Domaine de la Romanee-Conti that fetched HK$1.16 million.

The most expensive lot at Christie’s wine sale was a parcel of four 6-liter imperials of Petrus from 2005 to 2008, selling for more than HK$780,000, including a 22 percent commission, compared with pre-sales estimates of HK$500,000 to HK$700,000.

Acker, Merrall & Condit, the world’s largest wine auctioneer, has not yet released results of its weekend sales.

Taipei-based Ravenel International Art Group (羅芙奧藝術集團) held a wine auction yesterday, while Bonhams conducted sales of snuff bottles, fine Chinese ceramics and Chinese paintings.

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