Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, A Half-Billion Dollars in Art, Wine, Watches & Jewels Changes Hands

By Sotheby's

S otheby’s is leading the dynamic Asian auction market in 2018, with $488 Million (HK$3.8 Billion) in aggregate auction sales over the first half of 2018. The sale result is up 15% compared to the same period last year.


Breaking 21 records with 2 works sold over HK$200 million and 1 over HK$100 million, Sotheby’s Hong Kong takes the lead of the market across multiple categories. Read below for the full report.

Key Performance Figures in First-half 2018

· First-half 2018 aggregate auction sales reached HK$3.8 billion / US$488 million – up 15%

· Strong average sell-through rate of 90%

· 2 works sold over HK$200 million; 1 over HK$100 million

· 21 world auction records

· Leading the market across multiple categories, including Chinese Works of Art ($146 million/HK$1.14 billion); Modern & Contemporary Art ($170 million/HK$1.33 billion); Chinese Classical and Modern Paintings (US$67 million/HK$527 million); Wine ($37 million/HK$294 million) and Watches (HK$139 million/US$18 million).

Client Base Continues to Expand

· 28% of buyers were new to Sotheby’s Asia

· Increased participation of young buyers: 23% of buyers in Asia were below 40. The percentage of young buyers reached 40% at Hong Kong's Curated: Turn It Up, a sale which was assembled to reflect and cater to the eclectic tastes of today’s young collectors.

Asian Spending at Worldwide Salerooms

· Asian clients account for 28% of Sotheby’s worldwide auction sales

· Eye on top lots: Among the top 20 lots auctioned by Sotheby’s worldwide, 8 lots were bought by buyers from Asia (40%)

Continued Growth of Asian Interest in Western Art

· Total number of Asian clients buying Western art at Sotheby’s worldwide sales grew by 28%

· Western works 100% sold at Hong Kong's Modern Art and Contemporary Art Evening Sales in March

· At New York Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in May, a quarter of all works sold were acquired by Asian private collectors

· Asian spending nearly tripled at London's Contemporary Art Day and Evening Sales in June [NB. The number of Asian buyers/bidders also increased]. Collecting taste continues to broaden, as demonstrated by demand for works by ‘new faces’ at auction, including Sam Gilliam, Henry Taylor and Eric Fischl.

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