Auction houses jockey for position in Asia

  • April 01, 2010 15:40

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A 5-carat, fancy-vivid pink diamond set by Graff Diamonds was auctioned by Christie's International in Hong Kong for HK$83.5 million ($10.8 million) on Dec. 1, 2009. Source: Christie's International via Bloomberg

The battle in Asia among the auction giants is not as much for buyers as it is for the limited supply of quality goods, including classical Chinese art, wine, jewelry, watches, and post-war Western paintings, for which an insatiable demand has arisen in mainland China.

In a bold recognition of the world's fastest-growing auction market, Sotheby's recently hoisted China's flag at the most conspicuous spot outside its New York headquarters.

Christie's said mainland Chinese clients acquired the top-price items in six of the 11 sales categories and accounted for 21 per cent of sales in its Hong Kong auctions last autumn.

Bonhams opened a representative office in Tokyo in February, targeting Japanese collectors of Chinese art, in the hope of attracting top-notch consignments.


Read more at Straits Times

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