HONG KONG – A terrifically successful series of sales at Sotheby’s Hong Kong was highlighted by numerous auction records and some very colorful moments.
Among the week’s highlights, the world auction record was set for a fancy vivid pink diamond. The 8.41-carat flawless pink diamond sold for HK$ 137.88 million (US$ 17.77 million). Everyone in the saleroom felt the tension between the final few telephone bidders. Even when they were not present the suspense was only too palpable. When the sound of the hammer cut through the air and Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, triumphantly showed the paddle in her hand, the room broke into applause.
And this was far from the only exhilarating moment of the week. The innovative sale NIGO® ONLY LIVES TWICE was simply sensational. Where else could you see heated bidding wars between buyers from all walks of life and the breadth of the imaginable spectrum of collectors? Where else could you see 18 year-olds bidding against 88 year-olds for pieces that they desire? Auctioneer Andrea Fiuczynski from Los Angeles called out quick successions of bids that sent prices soaring high above their estimates by more than tenfold. Everyone was in high spirits when the last of the 107 lots was sold and Fiuczynski proudly displayed a pair of white gloves indicating every lot the sale found a buyer. Perhaps the most memorable moment of the week came when Mr Robert Chang, the legendary Shanghai collector and businessman known for his collection of Chinese ceramics, successfully bought a Jacob & Co. dollar sign necklace for four times its high estimate. He then immediately wore the prize around his neck, in the saleroom, and took a picture that will surely go down in the history of auctioneering.
The series of sales made many world records, including for a single wine lot the Romanée-Conti superlot (HK$13,768 or US$1,700 per glass), a world auction record for Qing monochrome porcelain, and auction records for 21 artists, of which nine were achieved in the jam-packed auction room of the Evening sale.