Schwenke Auctioneers - August Fine Estates Auction - August 28

Sotheby's $482 Million Hong Kong Sales Include Record-Smashing Wine Collection, Top Prices for Women Artists

  • HONG KONG, China
  • /
  • April 04, 2019

  • Email
Kusama Yayoi's Interminable Net #4 sold at the Sotheby's Hong Kong sale for HK$62.4 Million / US$8 Million, a record for a work by a female artist sold at auction in Asia and her new artist record at auction.
Sotheby's

Sotheby's Spring 2019 Hong Kong auction series concluded with a grand total of HK$3.78 billion / US$482 million, exceeding the pre-sale high estimate for the series (HK$2.34 – 3.4 billion / US$300 – 428 million) and establishing the second highest total in company history, second only to Sotheby’s landmark 40th anniversary sale total in Autumn 2013. The sales were marked by healthy activity across all categories and from all corners of Asia, with a strong combined sell-through rate of 90% (4,331 lots sold total).

“These superb results are up on what were already very strong results last spring, despite the fact that the estimates were lower than a year ago,” commented Tad Smith, Sotheby’s CEO, adding “our excellent performance against low estimate is a clear indicator of the health of the market in Asia and bodes very well for our important upcoming May auctions in New York.”

Over 35,000 visitors attended previews and 20% of bidders were new. More than 28 auction price records were toppled, including artist records for works by Kusama Yayoi ($8 million), Julie Mehretu ($5.6 million), KAWS ($14.8 million), Hao Liang, Duan Jianyu, Murakami Saburo, Huang Yuxing, Madsaki, Austin Lee, Yang Haegue.

Western art offerings were increased, with 92 works by 50+ Western artists, many of whom debuted at auction in Asia for the 6 days of sales. 

Highlights:

WINE SALES TOTAL HK$273 MILLION / US$35 MILLION

Julie Mehretu, Black Ground (Deep Light). This work sold for $5.6 million, an auction record for the artist. A traveling mid-career retrospective for the artist debuts in late 2019.
Sotheby's

- World auction record for any series of wine sales
- Record for a private wine collection sold at auction: Tran-scend-ent Wines totals HK$234 million / US$30
million
- Sotheby’s largest-ever offering of Kweichow Moutai to date: 50-lot collection sells for HK$9 million / US$1.1
million
- 25 limited-edition Mouton Rothschild Versailles Celebration Cases sell for a combined total of HK$7.1 million /
US$904,261; proceeds to fund restoration projects at the Palace of Versailles

MODERN ART
- Modern Art Evening and Day Sales together realise HK$851 million / US$108 million (est. HK$421 – 636 million / US$53.6 – 80.9 million), with Evening Sale making HK$793 million / US$101 million, far exceeding pre-sale high estimate
- Top lot: Wu Guanzhong’s Lotus Flowers (I) sells for a stunning HK$130.8 million / US$16.7 million, more than
8.5 times the estimate
- An unrivalled group of six works by Zao Wou-Ki spanning three decades is 100% sold, led by Untitled (1958),
sold to benefit the Art Fund of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum which achieves HK$116 million / US$14.8
million
- Robust demand for works by Guan Liang over the two sales: 28 works 100% sold for a combined total of
HK$55.45 million / US$7 million, four times the estimate

CONTEMPORARY ART
- Highest totalling series of Contemporary Art sales staged in Asia: Contemporary sales realise a combined total
of HK$802 million / US$102 million (est. HK$385 – 579 million / US$49 – 73.5 million)
- Record for a work by a female artist sold at auction in Asia: Kusama Yayoi’s Interminable Net #4 sells for an
exceptional HK$62.4 million / US$8 million
- Strong performance by Western artists, led by auction debuts in Asia: Julie Mehretu’s Black Ground (Deep
Light) sells for HK$44.2 million / US$5.6 million, an auction record for the artist, and Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled
(Yellow White Butterfly) achieves HK$26.6 million / US$3.4 million
- NIGOLDENEYE® Vol. 1 totals HK$220 million / US$28 million, 100% sold, led by KAWS’ THE KAWS ALBUM
which sells for HK$116 million / US$14.8 million, a record for the artist at auction

KAWS, The Kaws Album (2005) sold for $14.8 million, a record for the artist at auction
Sotheby's

MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART
- Modern & Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Evening & Day Sales total HK$167 million / US$21.3 million (est.
HK$88 – 135 million / US$10.9 – 17 million), led by Lee Man Fong’s Bali Life which achieves HK$28.9 million /
US$3.7 million
- Strong bidding from Vietnam

FINE CLASSICAL CHINESE PAINTINGS
- A Ming Dynasty calligraphic scroll by Zhang Bi and other reputable literati sells for HK$27.8 million / US$3.5
million, 23 times the estimate

FINE CHINESE PAINTINGS
- With a 90% sell-through rate, the sale realises HK$488.3 million/ US$62.3 million, led by Zhang Daqian’s
Manchurian Mountains from 1969, which doubles top estimate, selling for HK$162.7 million / US$20.8 million

SPECTACULAR 88.22-CARAT OVAL DIAMOND LEADS SALE OF MAGNIFICENT JEWELS & JADEITE SALE
- Perfect according to every critical criterion, the precious stone sells for HK$108 million / US$13.8 million to a
Japanese Private Collector who names the diamond, the ‘Manami Star’, after his eldest daughter

IMPORTANT WATCHES TOTALS HK$134.7 MILLION / US$17.3 MILLION
- Top Lot: Patek Philippe Reference 2499, First Series, Highly Important and Historically Interesting Yellow Gold
Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Moon Phases and Vichet Case, made in 1951, sells for HK$11.9 million /
US$1.5 million
- 4 Timepieces Setting World Auction Records: Cartier Contemporary Clock, Patek Philippe Reference 5208,
Patek Philippe Steel Nautilus, George Daniels Millennium

- SALES OF CHINESE WORKS OF ART TOTAL HK$633.6 MILLION / US$81.5 MILLION
- 18 pieces of selected imperial ceramics from the Tianminlou Collection are 100% sold, totalling HK$194 million / US$24.7 million, 2.7 times the low estimate

SELLING EXHIBITIONS OF MODERN & CONTEMPORARY ART HELD ALONGSIDE SERIES OF 20 AUCTIONS
- Alex Katz, the American artist’s first major exhibition in Hong Kong
- ‘Panorama: A New Perspective’: over 20 works sell by artists including Condo, Gormley, Chagall, Gauguin,
Hockney, Pissarro, Baselitz, Banksy, Hirst and Warhol


  • Email

ARTFIXdaily Artwire