China Guardian Hong Kong 2018 Spring Auctions concluded on 3 April with remarkable results. Seven sales encompassing four categories over two days brought a total of HK$ 420 million / US$ 53.85 million, an impressive 28.9% increase from Spring 2017.
Ms. Hu Yanyan, President of China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd, says, “The numerous art exhibitions, art fairs and auctions that take place in Hong Kong in March and April have brought to the city collectors and art lovers from around the world. After four days of previews and auctions, China Guardian Hong Kong Spring Auctions 2018 achieved a total of HK$ 420 million, exceeding expectations with a 28.9% increase comparing to Spring 2017. Our Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy sales went from strength to strength to achieve superb results and we are especially excited to see Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art break the HK$ 100 million mark once again to achieve the highest total for the category in five years, with Zao Wou-Ki’s 25.06.86 topping the sale series at HK$ 43.87 million. Our recently introduced sale of Jewellery, Watches and Luxury Goods showed immense growth with numerous pieces of magnificent jewels fetching remarkable prices. China Guardian has gradually established its positioning in Hong Kong which perfectly complements the development of our Beijing headquarters. In the highly competitive market of Hong Kong, we are extremely glad to have achieved such extraordinary results, for which we must thank collectors in Asia, Europe and the US for their great support. As China Guardian celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, we promise to do our very best and continue to bring to the market rare and great objects this autumn at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.”
Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy
The two sales of Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy on 3 April brought HK$ 197.5 million / US$ 25.32 million, a 5% increase from Spring 2017. Lingnan masterpieces were highly sought after and curated themed sessions performed exceptionally well, while Huang Binhong’s two masterpieces fetched the top two prices in the day.
Bidding for Spring Landscape, created in 1952 as a housewarming gift for a close friend of the artist in his final years, started at HK$ 4 million and soared to HK$ 28 million before a new bidder joined in and vied with a competitor propelling the final bid to an astounding HK$ 36.5 million. Over 60 bids were made over the course of 15 minutes before the painting sold for HK$ 41.63 million with premium. Another work created by the artist in the same year, View of North Mountain, sold for HK$ 24.27 million / US$ 3.11 million.
The sale of 'Important Collections of Fine Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy from Asia' saw a group of over 70 works by Li Xiongcai from an important Hong Kong private collection nearly 99% sold. Numerous works from this collection achieved multiples of pre-sale estimates, among which Rafting on the Autumn River fetched HK$ 2.478 million / US$ 317,692, 12 times its estimate. Two works (Lots 886 & 887) achieved record prices per square foot for a work by Li Xiongcai, while the top lot of the collection, Yangtze River Bridge, sold for HK$ 6.13 million / US$ 785,897 to an important museum.
Guo Tong, Vice President of China Guardian and General Head of China Paintings and Calligraphy, said, “This season our international sourcing efforts has brought to the sale a selection of works that became an homage to the Lingnan masters. The convergence of iconic works by a number of influential painters from the Lingnan school has propelled the market performance of these works to a new level. This is a result of China Guardian’s effort in adapting to the cultural preferences of Hong Kong and the adjacent provinces. We are also extremely pleased that the two important works created in the same year but Huang Binhong achieved superb prices that reflect the demand of the market. All these help to establish the influence our Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy sales in Hong Kong.”
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art alone brought HK$121.4 million / US$ 15.6 million, the highest total for the category at China Guardian (HK), with a high sell-through rate of 82%. Zao Wou-Ki’s 25.06.86 tops the sale at HK$ 43.87 million / US$ 5.62 million, followed by Chu Teh-Chun’s Composition No. 57 (HK$ 13.95 million / US$ 1.79 million) and Yun Gee’s Woman and Child Walking in Park (Sorbonne Square) (HK$ 8.2 million / US$ 1.05 million).
Vita Chen, General Manager, Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art, China Guardian (HK) says, “Keen participation from collectors and art lovers from Greater China, Europe, US and Southeast Asia shows that our sourcing approach taking into account the developments of art history and market trends was well recognised by the art collecting community. Great works by nine important Western and Asian artists in the curated special session titled ‘A Dialogue with Masters’ were 93% sold, among which three works by Lin Fengmian fetched multiples of pre-sale estimates and Lady with Mirror in particular brought HK$ 6.82 million / US$ 874,369, more than four times its estimate. Zao Wou-Ki’s 25.06.86 as well as works by Yun Gee and Ting Yinyung also achieved outstanding results. Our debut offering of Western and Southeast Asian artworks was well received by the market. Roches et Cascade by Gustav Courbet and Bouquet de Zinnias dans un Vase by Bernard Buffet achieved superb results, while Ronald Ventura’s Horse Around fetched HK$ 1.2 million / US$ 154,231, setting a world auction record for the artist’s work on paper. In the future we will continue to bring new categories and great works to the collecting community.”
Jewellery, Watches and Luxury Goods
The Important Jewels and Jadeite sale totalled HK$ 62.43 million / US$ 8 million and showed significant growth since last season. Top lot of the sale was a 10.02-carat Natural Unheated Burmese Mogok ‘Pigeon’s Blood’ Ruby and Diamond Ring that fetched HK$ 24.27 million / US$ 3.11 million, followed by a very rare Natural Unheated Kashmiri Sapphire and Diamond Ring, total weight of Sapphires 17.23 Carats, which sold for HK$ 7.57 million / US$ 970,192 and a Natural Jadeite and Ruby Necklace that achieved HK$ 7.4 million / US$ 942,308 million.
Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
The three Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sales brought HK$ 38.62 million / US$ 5 million. An Exceptionally Rare Large Gilt Bronze Standing Figure of a Bodhisattva achieved HK$ 10.04 million / US$ 1.29 million, followed by a Large and Finely Cast Bronze Bell, Bo Zhong, from the Spring and Autumn Period (771 – 476 BC) that fetched HK$2.537 million / US$ 325,256 and a Finely Carved Imperial Polychrome Lacquer ‘Chun’ Box and Cover that fetched HK$ 1.416 million / US$ 181,538.
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