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Top International Auction House's Spring Auction Sees Increased Buyer Interest from Mainland China and Southeast Asia, but Overall Sales Remain Subdued

OGP | Collectors' Recommendations

Jun 15, 2023

The recent Christie's spring auctions in Hong Kong attracted more buyers from mainland China and Southeast Asia, particularly in the modern and contemporary art category. However, overall sales were relatively subdued, possibly due to market uncertainty and a preference for retaining assets.

The recent Christie's spring auctions held in Hong Kong have attracted more buyers from mainland China and Southeast Asia, but overall sales have been relatively sluggish. Many of the most expensive items were sold below their reserve prices or didn't meet expectations. This was the first significant auction held by Christie's in Hong Kong since the end of the pandemic, and despite mandatory quarantine requirements for visitors at that time, it still managed to attract more buyers from mainland China and Southeast Asia.

According to Christie's, mainland Chinese buyers have contributed twice as much in the categories of modern and contemporary art compared to the same period last year. The total sales across all categories reached HK$3 billion (approximately US$382.7 million), marking an 11% increase from the autumn auctions of the previous year, which recorded HK$2.7 billion. However, the overall sales figures were still lower compared to the previous year. The president of Christie's Asia stated that market uncertainty has led people to prefer holding onto their possessions rather than selling. In response, the auction house has focused on meticulously curated and exciting auctions, emphasizing quality and results.

During the auctions, many significant artworks did not achieve their expected prices. However, a Qing dynasty "dragon" moonflask became the most expensive item sold for US$13.8 million. Additionally, some Chinese paintings failed to reach their minimum estimated prices, and certain modern and contemporary artworks did not sell as anticipated.

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