A week of auctions held by Sotheby's in Hong Kong netted a total of HK$3.2 billion ($411.3 million) with selective buyers competing to record levels for choice offerings of blue-chip art, rare gems, and Chinese ceramics.
The pre-sale estimate of HK$2.7 billion for the series total was soundly exceeded with a boost from a 6.01 carat blue diamond ring which sold for HK$79.1 million ($10 million), the highest price paid at auction per carat for such a stone.
Another heavy-hitter was a blue-and-white Ming dynasty vase, one of 32 lots of Imperial porcelain out of 40 works from the Meiyintang private collection that brought HK$560 million, well above an estimate of HK$430 million.
The hotly-contested vase doubled its estimate to fetch HK$167.8 million, a record price for a Ming piece at auction.
A HK$738.3 million sale of Chinese paintings, including fees, became the highest grossing Sotheby's sale in the category. Among the 364 lots, Zhang Daqian's “Self Portrait in Yellow Mountains” went for HK$46.6 million, nearly four times its high estimate. Works by Qi Bashi and Lin Fengmian also exceeded estimates while works by lesser known artists languished.
The wine sale fetched $12.7 million in total, including the eighth sale of the Classic Cellar of a Great American Collector, which sold-out at $3.5 million, below the pre-auction high estimate of $4 million. Wine prices have levelled out in Asia, say experts.
Unsold lots included a 9.27 carat pink diamond ring with a high estimate of HK$150 million.