Sotheby’s HK 2018 Spring auctions rake in US$466.5mil

6 April 2018 - 1:09pm

Sotheby's Spring 2018 Hong Kong auction series concluded with a grand total of HK$3.64 billion / US$466.5 million, against a pre-sale estimate of HK$2.75-3.86 billion / US$353-495 million*, and with a strong combined sell-through rate of 89%.

“We delivered outstanding results for our clients and shareholders this week,” said Sotheby’s CEO Tad Smith. “Outstanding prices across different categories coupled with a strong sell-through rate indicate that clients throughout Asia are engaged at every level. The past week of auctions, exhibitions and art fairs has left no doubt of Asia’s central position in the art market.”

“With an overall total that is second only to our 40th anniversary celebrations back in 2013, this is an historic result for both Sotheby’s and the art market in Asia,” commented Sotheby’s Asia CEO Kevin Ching. “Our strength in both traditional collecting categories as well as innovative and new selling formats position us well to continue to drive the growth of this thriving market.”

“Our success this week is the product of more than four decades of investment in Asia,” said Sotheby’s Asia chairman Patti Wong. “Spanning many centuries and collecting categories, the top lots on offer this week demonstrate the depth of our client relationships and the breadth of our expertise in sourcing and selling the world’s finest objects. It was this insight into the evolving taste of today’s collectors that drove the success of our most ambitious offering of Western Art in Asia to date.”


20 Records Achieved

  • World Auction Record for a Buddhist Manuscript

  • World Record for a Wine Sale Series

  • Record for a Single-Owner Wine Sale at Sotheby’s in Asia

  • Ink on Paper Auction Record for Chu Teh-Chun


16 artist records:

Vu Cao Dam, Hsiao Chin, Jane Lee, Park Seobo, Uemae Chiyu, Yu Youhan, José-María Cano, Suzlee Ibrahim, Le Thi Luu, Nguyen Van Ty, Alix Aymé, Gokita Tomoo, Hernan Bas, Shen Jingdong, Pia Pizzo, Tsai Hsia-Ling


Highlights Span Centuries and Categories


Modern & Contemporary Art Totalled HK$1.28 Billion / US$164 Million and Sets 17 Records

  • Evening Sales brought HK$1.04 billion / US$132 million, the second highest total for a Hong Kong evening sale at Sotheby’s, and with 100% of all Western Modern & Contemporary works sold

  • Strong performance for Modern Art, with Zao Wouki’s 26.04.62 being the top lot of the Evening Sales

  • Contemporary Art Day Sale doubled expectations and achieves a sell-through rate of 95%

  • Southeast Asian Art was 100% sold in the Evening Sale


Sales of Chinese Works of Art Totalled HK$1.08 Billion / US$138.1 Million

  • Two Sets of Ming Dynasty Imperial Sutras sold for HK$239 million / US$30.4 million, an auction record for a Buddhist Manuscript

  • Qing Dynasty Gold-Pink Falangcai Bowl, unseen on the market for over 30 years, fetched HK$239 million / US$30.4 million

  • A rediscovered Imperial Handscroll achieved HK$147 million / US$18.7 million after a 40-minute battle and over 100 bids


Modern and Classical Chinese Paintings Achieved A Combined Total of HK$527 Million / US$67.7 Million

  • Spectacular Mountains in Spring Snow; Calligraphy by Zhang Daqian sold for HK$83 million / US$10.6 million, double the high estimate

  • Dong Qichang’s Misty Mountains in the Style of Mi Fu fetched for HK$8.64 Million / US$1.1 Million, over seven times its pre-sale high estimate


Wine Auctions Achieved a Record Total Of HK$228.3 Million / US$29.1 Million

  • 1,758 lots in three auctions were 100% sold

  • The Philanthropist’s Cellar set a record for a single-owner wine sale at Sotheby’s in Asia, totaling HK$127.2 million / US$16.2 million


Top Prices Achieved At Magnificent Jewells & Jadeite Sale

  • An Important and Spectacular Ruby and Diamond Ring fetched HK$86.4 million / US$11 million

  • A Rare and Exceptional Gem Set and Diamond Bracelet, Van Cleef & Arpels, 1925, achieved HK$9.36 million / US$1.2 million, exceeding high estimate


Important Watches Totalled Hk$139 Million / Us$17.7 Million, Highest Total In Asia Since Spring 2015

  • Vintage masters were led by an Important and Extremely Rare Patek Philippe Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch Ref 1579 that sold for HK$8.76 million / US$1.1 million


Three Selling Exhibitions Of Modern & Contemporary Art Held Alongside Series Of 19 Auctions

  • Panorama: A New Perspective: masterworks by the titans of Impressionist, Modern & Contemporary Art

  • Face-Off: Picasso / Condo: portraits by Pablo Picasso and George Condo

  • Game Changers: José-María Cano: the artist’s two best-known series -WS100 and The Soul of Money


*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid