Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Posts Tagged ‘Sotheby’s Hong Kong’


    Monday, March 20th, 2017

    The Pink Star

    The Pink Star will lead Sotheby’s sales of magnificent jewels and jadeite in Hong Kong on April 4.   At 59.60 carats this oval mixed-cut pink diamond is the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded. It is estimated at more than US$60 million.

    The Pink Star has received the highest colour and clarity grades from the GIA for pink diamonds and has been found to be part of the rare subgroup comprising less than 2% of all gem diamonds – known as Type IIa: stones in this group are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical transparency. Mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999, the 132.5-carat rough diamond was meticulously cut and polished over a period of two years and transformed into this stunning gemstone.

    David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, said: “At a time of unprecedented demand for the finest in coloured diamonds, I am delighted to be bringing this magnificent stone back to the market.  The extraordinary size of this 59.60-carat diamond, paired with its richness of colour, surpasses any known pink diamond recorded in history.”

    QUEK Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman, Asia, and Chairman International Jewellery, Asia, said: “Over the years Sotheby’s Hong Kong has played host to many outstanding stones and sales; including the 118.28-carat oval D-colour flawless diamond sold in Oct 2013, the still-current world auction record for any white diamond, as well as the fancy vivid blue 10.10-carat De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 which set a record for any jewel sold at auction in Asia in April 2016. The market for the world’s finest diamonds and gem stones remains buoyant.”

    At 59.60 carats, The Pink Star is more than twice the size of the Graff Pink’ – the 24.78-carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond which currently holds the world auction record for any pink diamond. Sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2010 for US$46.2 million the Graff Pink marked an auction record for any diamond or gemstone at the time.


    Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

    Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) – Lush Mountains in Misty Gleam, 1967

    A masterful splashed ink and colour landscape on gold paper by Zhang Daqian is a highlight at Sotheby’s sale of Fine Chinese Paintings in Hong Kong on April 4.  Among more than 300 lots are masterpieces by Zhang Daqian, many of which were gifts to his close friends, such as the splashed ink and colour landscape on gold paper for Tai Jingnong, a splashed ink lotus painting for Wu Hufan to celebrate his 70th birthday, and red lotuses for his friend Mao Yingchu.  The sale features a number of specially-curated thematic sections, such as an array of paintings and calligraphy previously from the collection of Wu Hufan, along with works of Wu and his students, and the collection of celebrated Guangdong book collector Mo Boji. The sale is expected to bring in around US$20 million.

    C.K. Cheung, Sotheby’s Head of Chinese Paintings Department, said: “This spring, we are pleased to present significant works in considered thematic sections that reflect the department’s meticulous sourcing approach. Not only do these groupings emphasise each work’s intrinsic artistic value, they also put into context the artists’ relationships and place in the wider art world, as well as his or her artistic orientation. Once kept in the hands of revered private collectors, many of these rare works boast impeccable provenance, and several are fresh to market.”


    Friday, March 3rd, 2017

    A rare group of paintings by Liu Dan  will lead Sotheby’s Contemporary Ink Art sale in Hong Kong on April 4.  Works by the artist in the sale span four decades from 1979 to 2013.  Liu, who was born in 1953, has produced an exhilarating legacy of physical grandeur, spiritual immensity and lyrical power.

    With more than 70 lots on offer the sale will focus on significant moments and artistic milestones for pioneers of contemporary ink art working around the world.  These range from experimental calligraphy works by Bokujinkai leaders in 1950’s Japan, to landscapes by early masters such as Lui Shoukwan and Liu Guosong, to a subsequent generation of artists including Li Jin, Xu Lei, Qiu Deshu and Peng Jian.

    Katherine Don, Head of Contemporary Ink Art, Sotheby’s Hong Kong, said: “In a time when collectors are exceptionally discerning of quality and value in acquiring art, we see growing market interest in time-tested pieces with established track records and artistic significance. This season, collectors will find museum-quality works by thought leaders in the ink art genre, who are not only guardians of cultural heritage, but also innovators who create fresh works that respond to globally-relevant issues of our time. We hope our meticulously curated sale this April will provide connoisseurs and ink art lovers a glimpse into a dynamic world of conceptually engaging, technically awe-inspiring and art-historically relevant contemporary art.”

    Liu Dan (b.1953), Airy Mountains, Rushy Glens after Li Tang, 2004 (US$520,000 – 775,000)


    Friday, October 7th, 2016
    Fu Baoshi, Warriors on the Night March Sold for: US$3,543,590

    Fu Baoshi, Warriors on the Night March
    Sold for: US$3,543,590

    The five day autumn sales series at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong achieved US$285 million and exceeded the high estimate.  The series brought major sales at Sotheby’s in Asia so far this year to US$690 million.  The top lot of the series was a Qing dynasty  Imperial Khotan green jade seal, which made US$11.7 million. Significantly the series attracted a new generation of bidders. Over 40% were under the age of 40.  There were participants from 28 countries.  All top lots in the sale of Fine Chinese Paintings found buyers. and top quality modern works performed with strength.

    This was the highest value offering of Western Contemporary Art ever held in a major Hong Kong auction and there was an auction record for a work on paper by Keith Haring. Jean Michel Basquiat’s Infantry sold for US$5.98 million.

    Kevin Ching, CEO, Sotheby’s Asia, said: “I am pleased that the total for major sales at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2016 matched that of 2015, demonstrating Asia’s resistance to uncertainty in some segments of the market.  Collectors were selective, but demand for the most desirable pieces remained robust, leading to outstanding prices.”

    (See post on for September 6, 2016)


    Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

    THE largest seal ever used by Qianlong as Emperor Supreme will lead Sotheby’s Hong Kong Chinese Works of Art Autumn Sales 2016 in Hong Kong on October 5.  The Imperial Khotan-green Jade ‘Taishang Huangdi zhi Bao’ Seal is estimated at US10-15 million. On February 9, 1796 the Qianlong Emperor abdicated after 60 years on the throne and thus became Emperor Supreme. This massive jade seal celebrates his long and outstanding reign.  Other highlights include a unique Imperial Inscribed Documentary Cinnabar Laquered Wutong Qin not seen on the open market for over half a century, and an extremely rare pair of Pink-Ground Famille-Rose ‘Trompe L’oeil’ Jars and Covers. The series of six sales will offer close to 300 lots with a total estimate of approximately US$80 million.

    Nicolas Chow, Deputy Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia, International Head and Chairman, Chinese Works of Art, said: “This October we are proud to present a stunning array of material spanning from the dawn of Buddhist art in China in the 4th century to the culmination of material refinement at the Qing dynasty court in the 18th century. The selection includes private collections such as that of the celebrated Japanese connoisseur Sakamoto Gor? and Roger Keverne, one of the doyens of London’s art scene. Two extraordinary historical objects from the Qianlong period anchor the sale, one a superb zither made to his order in 1746, and the other a massive jade seal carved fifty years later marking his rise to the status of Emperor Supreme.”

    A massive Imperial Khotan jade Taishang Huangdi zhi Bao seal, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong period (US$10-15 million)

    A massive Imperial Khotan jade Taishang Huangdi zhi Bao seal, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong period (US$10-15 million)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR US$11,728,205

    The Dragon Emperor Seal

    The Dragon Emperor Seal

    An Imperial Inscribed documentary cinnabar lacquered Wuton Wood Qin (US$3.2-3.9 million)

    An Imperial Inscribed documentary cinnabar lacquered Wuton Wood Qin UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR US$7,133,333, a world auction record for a Qing musical instrument (estimate US$3.2-3.9 million)

    An exceptional and massive cabinet with Zitan carved dragon panels (US$3.9-5.2 million)

    An exceptional and massive cabinet with Zitan carved dragon panels (US$3.9-5.2 million)


    Thursday, April 28th, 2016
    Picasso's silver plates.

    Picasso’s silver plates.

    A set of 24 silver plates by Picasso will come up at Sotheby’s Boundless: Contemporary Art sale in Hong Kong on June 23. Picasso created a large volume of ceramics and crockery in numbered editions, but only crafted silver plates in 24 designs throughout his entire oeuvre.  This is the first time a complete set has appeared at any auction. It is estimated at $1.55-2.33 million. Conceived between 1956 and 1967, the plates were designed by Picasso together with French silversmith François Hugo, then cast by Hugo and his son Pierre Hugo on private request by individuals. All 20 editions of each plate have been sold out for years.


    Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

    The first-ever wine auction entirely dedicated to Château Palmer takes place at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong on June 4. .The sale, titled Château Palmer Direct from the Château and the Cellars of Maison Mähler-Besse & Franck Mähler-Besse, will mark the auction debut of a 225-litre barrel of Château Palmer 2015, a vintage that has not yet been released. The winning bidder will have the opportunity to choose bottle sizes and the chance to have their name printed on the back label. The barrel equates to 25 cases or 300 regular size (0.75L) bottles. The estimate is HK500,000-700,000 / US$65,00-90,000 / £45,000-63,500.

    The sale represents a historic journey through time going back to 1928 and spanning 87 years through to 2015. The total estimate for the 220 lots is HK7.7-12.4 million / US$980,000-1.6 million / £700,000-1.1 million. The estate of Château Palmer was established in 1814, when it was acquired by Charles Palmer, a British Major General who instilled his namesake to see it become renowned throughout London’s aristocratic circles. Château Palmer was ranked among the most prestigious classified growths of the 1855 Bordeaux classification, which stands as the most important and famous classification of any wine region in the world. In 1938, a consortium of four leading families in the Bordeaux wine trade acquired the estate.

    The 225 litre barrel of Chateau Palmer 2015

    The 225 litre barrel of Chateau Palmer 2015

    Chateau Palmer 1959

    Chateau Palmer 1959


    Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

    An exceptional painting by Henri Matisse, which has emerged after 85 years in a private collection, is among the highlights at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern and Surreal Art evening sales in London on February 3.  Highlights from these sales will preview in Hong Kong from January 5-8.  Matisse’s La Lecon de piano combines two of the artist’s passions, music and art. Painted in 1923 this fine interior composition is from his early Nice period when he produced some of his boldest and most life affirming works.  It is estimated at £12-18 million.

    There is a rare example of one of Francis Picabia’s machinist compositions from his DADA period. Le Ventilateur was painted in 1917 and is estimated at £1.8-2.5 million.

    The year 2015 was a record one for Sotheby’s sales of Impressionist & Modern Art worldwide. Sales achieved a grand total of US$1.72 billion – the highest annual figure for the company in this category.

    Henri Matisse - La lecon de piano.

    Henri Matisse – La lecon de piano.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £10.8 MILLION

    Francis Picabia - Le Ventilateur

    Francis Picabia – Le Ventilateur  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £2.3 MILLION


    Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

    There was a world auction record for a natural grey pearl necklace when The Cowdray Pearls sold for US$5,266,667 at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong today.  The Jewel of Kashmir, a 27.68 carat Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring achieved a world auction record price per carat of US$242,145 when it made US$6,702,654.

    The previous world auction record for a natural grey pearl necklace was held by The Cowdray Pearls which sold for  for US$3,353,661 in London in June 2012. The previous record per carat for a Kashmir sapphire was US$240,381 established in Hong Kong last May when a circular cut ring of 10.33 carats sold for US2,483,136.

    Sotheby’s five day series of sales in Hong Kong brought in US$342.2 million.  A total of 2,974 lots were sold. The top lot of the series was an Imperial painting of Chinhui, the Qianlong Emperor’s favourite consort, by Giuseppe Castiglione which sold for US$17.6 million,.

    (See post on for September 10, 2015).

    The Cowdray Pearls sold for US$5,266,667

    The Cowdray Pearls sold for US$5,266,667

    This emerald cut sapphire and diamond ring sold for US$6.7 million

    This emerald cut sapphire and diamond ring sold for US$6.7 million

    An Imperial Painting of Chunhui, the Qianlong Emperor’s favourite Consort, by Court Artist Giuseppe Castiglione sold for US$17.6 million.

    Sotheby’s Nicholas Chow showing an Imperial painting of Chunhui, the Qianlong Emperor’s favourite Consort, by Court Artist Giuseppe Castiglione which sold for US$17.6 million.


    Thursday, September 10th, 2015
    The Dowager Countess of Harcourt diamond necklace of about 65 carats. (US$1.3-1.9 million).

    The Dowager Countess of Harcourt diamond necklace of about 65 carats. (US$1.3-1.9 million).  UPDATE: TIFFANY PURCHASED THIS FOR US$1,548,718

    The Dowager Viscountess Harcourt diamond necklace incorporating 28 diamonds from the landmark 1887 auction of the French Crown Jewels will come up at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong on October 7.  The necklace is accompanied by thorough documentation of its passage through various notable owners over more than a century.  After the Third Republic of France was formed the Ministry of Finance decided to sell the once exclusive property of kings and queens in a public auction in 1887. Jewellers from Europe, North Africa and the United States flocked to the sale, along with European aristocrats and wealthy Americans.  Tiffany was rumoured to have purchased about one third of the lots including 28 mine cut old diamonds from the Great Comb a Pampilles.  They were sold a week later to Junius Morgan of the English banking family. They were passed to his young grand daughter Mary Burns who became Viscountess Harcourt in 1899.  The first Viscount Harcourt had the diamond chains remounted into the present necklace around 1900.  It is estimated at US$1.3-1.9 million.

    The sale offers a selection of superb natural coloured gemstones, diamonds, jadeite and jewels from the most coveted brands worldwide, including iconic designs from Cartier from the 1920s to the present. Among these is a ‘Panther’ ring featuring a 10.62-carat natural Burmese ruby.

    Pride of place goes to the Cowdray Pearls, one of the finest and rarest grey pearl necklaces known (US$4.5 – 7 million).  Formerly in the collection of Viscountess Cowdray, Lady Pearson (1860 – 1932), a distinguished connoisseur and collector, this magnificent necklace strung and mounted by Cartier comprises 42 extremely rare and superb natural grey saltwater pearls well-matched in lustre, shape and size. They are accompanied by a pair of natural grey pearl earrings with mounts by Cartier London.

    The Cowdray Pearls (US$4.5 – 7 million).

    The Cowdray Pearls (US$4.5 – 7 million).  UPDATE: THEY SOLD FOR US$5,266,667

    A 10.62 carat Burmese Mogok ruby, onyx and diamond ring. (|US$2.3-3.2 million).

    A 10.62 carat Burmese Mogok ruby, onyx and diamond ring. (|US$2.3-3.2 million).