Christie's Inaugural Sale in Mainland China Brings $25 Million

  • September 26, 2013 20:55

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The first Picasso painting has been sold at auction in mainland China by Christie's on Sept. 26, 2013.
Christie's Images Ltd.

Christie's International auction house debuted in mainland China on Thursday with a sale of art, jewelry, watches and wine that brought a total $25 million for 42 lots.

A 1969 oil painting titled "Homme Assis" by Pablo Picasso brought $1.9 million, almost double its pre-auction estimate, while the top lot was a ruby and diamond necklace that sold for $3.5 million, less than its high estimate of $4.6 million.

"Interest from Chinese buyers was very strong, with international bidders on the phone and online all coming together," Christie's CEO Steven Murphy said at a post-sale news conference in Shanghai. More than two-thrids of the buyers were from China, according to Christie's.

Before receiving a license to sell in China, Christie's organized sales on the mainland through a Chinese auction firm that used its international trademark since 2005.

China bought about $12.02 billion of art and collectibles in 2012. Despite the glowing numbers, some experts say the Chinese market is beset with problems such as tremendous taxes, regulations, fakes and market manipulations.


Tags: Asian art

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