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SOTHEBY'S SPRING 2019 HONG KONG SALES TOTAL $482 MILLION - Second Highest Total in Company History

Strong Overall Sell-Through Rate of 90%, with Competition Seen Across All Categories

35,000+ Visitors, 4,331 Lots Sold, 28 Records, 20 Auctions in Just 6 Days; Sales Attract New Generation of Buyers

HONG KONG, April 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Sotheby's (BID) Spring 2019 Hong Kong auction series concluded today with a grand total of $482 million, exceeding the pre-sale high estimate for the series $300-428 million* and establishing the second highest total in company history, second only to Sotheby's landmark 40th anniversary sale total in Autumn 2013. The sales were marked by healthy activity across all categories and from all corners of Asia, with a strong combined sell-through rate of 90%.

Sotheby's Spring 2019 Hong Kong Sales Series totaled an outstanding $482 million, exceeding pre-sale estimates and establishing the second highest total in company history. In just six days, Sotheby's sold 4,331 lots, set more than 28 auction records, and welcomed more than 35,000 visitors.

"These superb results are up on what were already very strong results last spring, despite the fact that the estimates were lower than a year ago," commented Tad Smith, Sotheby's CEO, adding "our excellent performance against low estimate is a clear indicator of the health of the market in Asia and bodes very well for our important upcoming May auctions in New York."  

Kevin Ching, CEO of Sotheby's Asia, said: "With all eyes firmly fixed on our Hong Kong sales for this first indicative season, I think we can say that the Asian market did not disappoint. Our total follows what was already a record year for Sotheby's in Asia, with this season's results now sitting among the top results we have ever achieved here in Hong Kong – a testament to the fact that, when you get it right, collectors from across Asia remain ready to go the extra mile."

Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby's Asia, said: "When building the sales for these big seasons, we try to keep our finger firmly on the pulse of our collectors so as to understand, not only what they want right now, but also where their interests are taking them, so our offerings reflect both where the market is and where it is going.  That is why we are bringing an ever-more diverse range of material to Hong Kong, along with an ever-wider range of possibilities for collectors to engage with us. This, for me, is what is so exciting about these seasons – they are not only a data point for the Asian market, they are also testimony to the excitement, and opportunity, that exists within it."

KEY STATISTICS AT A GLANCE

  • Number of visitors: 35,000+
  • Number of lots sold: 4,331
  • Number of auctions staged: 20 in 9 categories
  • Number of records set: 28
  • Number of lots sold for over HK$100 million: 6
  • Participation from new buyers: 20%
  • New generation engages: nearly 50% of buyers in NIGOLDENEYE® are under 40
  • Private sales: selling exhibitions of Modern and Contemporary Art perform well
  • Western art: a broader offering than ever before, with 92 works by 50+ Western artists, many of whom debuted at auction in Asia this week. With a sell-through rate of over 90%, the group smashes the top combined estimate, with notable increase in participation from Mainland China
  • Array of events:

HIGHLIGHTS SPAN CENTURIES AND CATEGORIES

WINE SALES TOTAL HK$273 MILLION / US$35 MILLION

  • World auction record for any series of wine sales
  • Record for a private wine collection sold at auction: Tran-scend-ent Wines totals HK$234 million / US$30 million
  • Sotheby's largest-ever offering of Kweichow Moutai to date: 50-lot collection sells for HK$9 million / US$1.1 million
  • 25 limited-edition Mouton Rothschild Versailles Celebration Cases sell for a combined total of HK$7.1 million / US$904,261; proceeds to fund restoration projects at the Palace of Versailles

MODERN ART

  • Modern Art Evening and Day Sales together realise HK$851 million / US$108 million (est. HK$421 – 636 million / US$53.6 – 80.9 million), with Evening Sale making HK$793 million / US$101 million, far exceeding pre-sale high estimate
  • Top lot: Wu Guanzhong's Lotus Flowers (I) sells for a stunning HK$130.8 million / US$16.7 million, more than 8.5 times the estimate
  • An unrivalled group of six works by Zao Wou-Ki spanning three decades is 100% sold, led by Untitled (1958), sold to benefit the Art Fund of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum which achieves HK$116 million / US$14.8 million
  • Robust demand for works by Guan Liang over the two sales: 28 works 100% sold for a combined total of HK$55.45 million / US$7 million, four times the estimate

CONTEMPORARY ART

  • Highest totalling series of Contemporary Art sales staged in Asia: Contemporary sales realise a combined total of HK$802 million / US$102 million (est. HK$385 – 579 million / US$49 – 73.5 million)
  • Record for a work by a female artist sold at auction in Asia: Kusama Yayoi's Interminable Net #4 sells for an exceptional HK$62.4 million / US$8 million
  • Strong performance by Western artists, led by auction debuts in Asia: Julie Mehretu's Black Ground (Deep Light) sells for HK$44.2 million / US$5.6 million, an auction record for the artist, and Mark Grotjahn's Untitled (Yellow White Butterfly) achieves HK$26.6 million / US$3.4 million
  • NIGOLDENEYE® Vol. 1 totals HK$220 million / US$28 million, 100% sold, led by KAWS' THE KAWS ALBUM which sells for HK$116 million / US$14.8 million, a record for the artist at auction

MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART

  • Modern & Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Evening & Day Sales total HK$167 million / US$21.3 million (est. HK$88 – 135 million / US$10.9 – 17 million), led by Lee Man Fong's Bali Life which achieves HK$28.9 million / US$3.7 million
  • Strong bidding from Vietnam

FINE CLASSICAL CHINESE PAINTINGS

  • A Ming Dynasty calligraphic scroll by Zhang Bi and other reputable literati sells for HK$27.8 million / US$3.5 million, 23 times the estimate

FINE CHINESE PAINTINGS

  • With a 90% sell-through rate, the sale realises HK$488.3 million/ US$62.3 million, led by Zhang Daqian's Manchurian Mountains from 1969, which doubles top estimate, selling for HK$162.7 million / US$20.8 million

SPECTACULAR 88.22-CARAT OVAL DIAMOND LEADS SALE OF MAGNIFICENT JEWELS & JADEITE SALE

  • Perfect according to every critical criterion, the precious stone sells for HK$108 million / US$13.8 million to a Japanese Private Collector who names the diamond, the 'Manami Star', after his eldest daughter

IMPORTANT WATCHES TOTALS HK$134.7 MILLION / US$17.3 MILLION 

  • Top Lot: Patek Philippe Reference 2499, First Series, Highly Important and Historically Interesting Yellow Gold Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Moon Phases and Vichet Case, made in 1951, sells for HK$11.9 million / US$1.5 million

SALES OF CHINESE WORKS OF ART TOTAL HK$633.6 MILLION / US$81.5 MILLION

  • 18 pieces of selected imperial ceramics from the Tianminlou Collection are 100% sold, totalling HK$194 million / US$24.7 million, 2.7 times the low estimate

SELLING EXHIBITIONS OF MODERN & CONTEMPORARY ART HELD ALONGSIDE SERIES OF 20 AUCTIONS

  • Alex Katz, the American artist's first major exhibition in Hong Kong
  • 'Panorama: A New Perspective': over 20 works sell by artists including Condo, Gormley, Chagall, Gauguin, Hockney, Pissarro, Baselitz, Banksy, Hirst and Warhol

About Sotheby's
Sotheby's has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby's became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby's presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby's BidNow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world. Sotheby's offers collectors the resources of Sotheby's Financial Services, the world's only full-service art financing company, as well as the collection, artist, estate & foundation advisory services of its subsidiary, Art Agency, Partners. Sotheby's presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Global Fine Art Division, and three retail businesses: Sotheby's Wine, Sotheby's Diamonds, and Sotheby's Home, the online marketplace for interior design. Sotheby's has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).

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Hong Kong +852 2822 8129 | Winnie Tang | Winnie.Tang@Sothebys.com 
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London | +44 20 7293 6000 | Mitzi Mina | Mitzi.Mina@Sothebys.com | Matthew Floris | Matthew.Floris@Sothebys.com

 



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