Half year sales at Sotheby’s Asia are up 22% to US$461.5 million. The results for the first six months of 2016 defied markets and beat expectations. More than 80% of lots sold achieved prices at or above their mid estimate. Three artworks sold for prices above HK$100 million, capped by Zhang Daqian’s Peach Blossom Spring which sold after a 50 minute bidding battle for H$270.68 million or US$34.9 million.
There was particularly strong bidding from throughout Asia, including mainland Chinese collectors, though bidders registered from 65 countries around the globe. Asian private collectors dominated Sotheby’s jewellery sales in Hong Kong. The client base continued to expand and 23% of buyers were new to Sotheby’s. It was also noted that the interest of Asian collectors in Western art continued to deepen.
Kevin Ching, Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby’s Asia said: ‘We are delighted by the exceptional half year results that reached 22% over last year. After more than four decades in Asia, Sotheby’s maintains an unrivalled ability to source the finest and rarest objects from notable collections around the world – a critical element to our success. Longstanding relationships with seasoned collectors worldwide led to a number of important consignments – from the Pilkington Collection of Chinese ceramics, to Zhang Daqian’s Peach Blossom Spring, to the Mi Yun Hall Collection of Classical Chinese Paintings – that drove remarkable results across collecting categories.
‘We are further encouraged by the growing presence of Asian collectors in our worldwide salerooms, where they are pushing the market forward – evidenced by their active participation in recent major sales of Contemporary Art in New York and London, among so many others”.
Sotheby’s worldwide have year results are due to be announced in early August.