The two sales of Chinese Works of Art on 2 & 3 June achieved a total of HK$82 million/US$10.5 million bringing its half-year auction total for the category to over HK$1 billion/US$130 million – the highest among international auction houses in Asia.
The sale was led by an inscribed Yixing stoneware 'willow' teapot and cover inscribed by Qu Yingshao, Qing dynasty, Jiaqing–Daoguang period, which sold for HK$4.16 million/ US$530,000, nearly 17 times its estimate.
The fifth sale from this esteemed collection of scholarly objects, assembled since the 1960s, consists of 122 lots in a diverse variety of media, with estimates ranging from HK$5,000 to HK$3,000,000. Many are inscribed with rare marks, which can be used to pinpoint the exact maker or the scholar who commissioned the work, and provide a window into the aesthetics and lifestyle of the literati class in the late Ming and Qing dynasty. The title of the sale: Playthings (yiwan), pertains to a specific category of objects, usually of small proportion, intended to ornate the scholar desk or simply be enjoyed for their visual or tactile quality.
Sotheby's Hong Kong Gallery, 5/F One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong