$26.7 Million Bowl Boosts Sotheby's Hong Kong Sales

  • Song dynasty washer brought a record $26.7 million at Sotheby's.

    Song dynasty washer brought a record $26.7 million at Sotheby's.


Sotheby’s five-day Hong Kong spring auction series managed to rake in $316 million, despite tepid sales in some areas.

A Song dynasty ceramic, a Ruyao bowl more than 900 years old, set an auction record at $26.7 million. Auctioneers said the shallow dish, known as a washer, was created for a Chinese emperor to wash his calligraphy brushes.

There were some contemporary highlights as well, such as the painting “The Purple Curtain” by Vietnamese artist Le Pho, which also set a record for the artist at auction, and the highest paid for a Vietnamese painting. 

“Big Family No. 2,” an oil painting by Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang, from his 1993 “Bloodline” series sold for over $6 million, well above the presale estimate.

 Also being auctioned this week in Hong Kong was part of a group of paintings confiscated from a failed South Korean bank, Busan Savings Bank. Art by contemporary Chinese and Western artists were among those that went on the block, including works by noted Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi and American filmmaker Julian Schnabel.

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