Press Release

Sotheby's Hong Kong 2021 Autumn Sales Achieve HK$3.08 Billion / US$397 Million | Bringing Sotheby’s Year-To-Date Total in Asia to HK$8.5 Billion / US$1.1 Billion | Surpassing 2020 Full Year Total

Hong Kong
  • SOTHEBY’S HONG KONG 2021 AUTUMN SALES ACHIEVE HK$3.08 Billion / US$397 Million
ACHIEVE HK$3.08 Billion / US$397 Million

TO HK$8.5 Billion / US$1.1 Billion

- Surpassing 2020 Full Year Total -

TOP LOT OF THE SEASON AT HK$215 Million / US$27.6 Million

HK$887 Million / US$114 Million of Western Art Sold in Two Days
Bringing the Year-To-Date Total to an All-Time High


“We are pleased to continue on a record-breaking year in Asia and will continue to expand the international audience interacting with us while retaining what is making Asian art and Hong Kong truly unique and special.”
Nathan Drahi, Managing Director, Sotheby's Asia
“This week’s sales, which close out the latest chapter of what is already a record-breaking year for Sotheby’s Asia, have shone a spotlight on the evolution of collecting and taste in the region. Reflecting the ever more international nature of today’s market, in which collectors are less constrained by focused categories of period or nationality, this season’s top prices were achieved for works by Zhang Daqian, Picasso and Basquiat.”
Patti Wong, Chairman, Sotheby's Asia

Hong Kong, 15 October 2021 Sotheby’s Hong Kong 2021 Autumn Sales achieved HK$3.08 billion / US$397 million, bringing the year-to-date sales total to HK$8.5 billion / US$1.1 billion, surpassing the HK$7.2 billion / US$932 million full year total of 2020.


  • · Top lot of the season was Zhang Daqian’s Mist at Dawn, which was sold to a telephone bidder at HK$215 million / US$27.6 million after a 15-minute bidding battle – the second highest price for the artist, for whom Sotheby’s also holds the record.

    · In addition to the strong result for Zhang Daqian, the sales also saw standout results for other Asian works and categories:

    o Private collections with important provenance performed well: Runaway prices for Chinese gilt bronzes from the Jane and Leopold Swergold Collection, with top two lots exceeding their estimates by multiple factors; Imperial Porcelain from the Yidetang Collection also surpassed top estimate, with 96% of lots finding new homes, and with 74% of lots selling for prices above their high estimates

    o The Classical Chinese paintings sale saw 60% of lots sell for above estimate

    o The Fine Chinese Paintings sale achieved HK$441.6 million / US$56.7 million, over high estimate, with 88% of works finding new homes and with 68% of works sold achieve prices in excess of estimate

    · The two-day Modern & Contemporary Art sales achieved HK$1.4 billion / US$185 million, bringing the year-to-date sale total for both categories in Asia to HK$4.7 billion / US$600 million – significantly exceeding the full year 2020 total.

    · The sales saw continued demand in western art, both for canonized names and for today’s most in-demand artists, with HK$887 million / US$114 million of Western art sales this week bringing the total for the category to a record HK$2.57 billion / US$330 million, almost triple the HK$937 million / US$120 million full year total for 2020. Of the 32 Western works sold in Sotheby’s evening sales this week, over 65% achieved prices above their high estimates.

    · A record for Picasso in Asia was set at Sotheby’s for the second consecutive season with Femme Accroupie achieving HK$191.7 million / US$24.6 million. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (Red Warrior) topped the Contemporary Evening Sale, selling for HK$162.9 million / US$20.9 million.

    Hot demand for works by today’s most sought-after artists: Strong above-estimate prices were achieved for Louis Fratino, Rafa Macarrón, Jadé Fadojutimi, Loie Hollowell, Shara Hughes.

    · Day Sales in the Modern and Contemporary categories saw particularly fierce competition, driven by an influx of new buyers. Both sales achieved over top estimate, the Contemporary Sale achieving double its low estimate at a record HK$176 million / US$22.6 million.

    Acclaimed film director Wong Kar Wai’s first ever NFT creation, In The Mood For Love - Day One , soared to HK$4.3m / US$550,280 (est. HK$2-3m), establishing a new benchmark for any Asian film NFT.
    (©Jet Tone Films ©澤東電影).jpg

    · White glove sale of film collectables: Acclaimed film director Wong Kar Wai’s first ever NFT creation, In The Mood For Love - Day One, soared to HK$4.3 million / US$550,280, establishing a new benchmark for any Asian film NFT. In addition, “Happy Together|WKW x Jet Tone Films 30th Anniversary”, a dedicated sale of collectibles from the Jet Tone Archive to mark the 30th anniversary of Wong’s production company, was 100% sold.

    Strong market for luxury category across the board:
    o Third highest total for a wine & spirits sales series in Asia (HK$196 million / US$25 million), contributing to a record-breaking year to date for Sotheby’s Wine in Asia (HK$515 million /US$66 million)
    o Highest total for a Watches Sale at Sotheby’s Asia:  Important Watches achieved HK$261 million / US$33.6 million with a strong sell-through rate of 87%
    o Magnificent Jewels Part I sale saw a strong performance for coloured diamonds, led by a Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Ring which sold for HK$35 million / US$4.5 million.  International interest in fine jadeite continues to grow, with bidding from Asia, US and Europe. Three fine jadeite pieces were among the most valuable jewels sold, most notably the Fortunate Longevity, an Imperial Green Colour Carved Jadeite Pendant (HK$22 million / US$2.8 million)

Refik Anadol's Machine Hallucinations — Space : Metaverse Collection | A New Record of the Most Valuable Fine Art NFT Collection by a Single Artist Sold in Asia

October sales week builds on successes of a vibrant season at Sotheby’s Hong Kong to date:

Beyond the biannual sales series in Hong Kong, this year Sotheby’s Hong Kong calendar has been more vibrant than ever, with the introduction of innovative new sale formats and platforms, catering to the diverse interests of a continuously expanding pool of collectors. These include:

o The ‘white-glove’ contemporary art evening sale guest-curated by musical legend and avid art collector Jay Chou;
o An inaugural ‘Luxury Edit’ in Asia – an innovative cross-category concept encompassing jewellery, watches, handbags and rare sneakers;
o The introduction of the first dedicated sneaker auction in Asia;
o Extension of cryptocurrency payment options to Sotheby’s luxury sales;
o And an increase on NFT offerings, most recently with Refik Anadol’s Machine Hallucinations — Space: Metaverse

The season continues with a series of exciting online sales, including:

o Diamonds: The Dazzling ∞ (Live auction: 19 October): A sales of eight lots on exceptional diamonds, including a Harry Winston diamond necklace which will be auctioned with a cryptocurrency payment option

o Magnificent Jewels Part II Online (till 28 October): The sale boasts a fine collection of jewels as wearable art, and is led by a pair of diamond earrings inspired by Van Gogh’s Café Terrace at Night, created in collaboration with the Kroller-Muller Museum

o Cult Canvas (Online sale: till 21 October): Curated by Ryan Chang, Founder and Chief Curator of Applied Arts [], Sotheby’s first dedicated sneaker sale in Hong Kong is led by two ultra-rare Kanye West limited edition sneakers

o Sales of the Asian art collection of Tuyet Nguyet and Stephen Markbreiter (10-17 December) - pioneers in Asian Art and founders of the Arts of Asia magazine who carefully put together a range of objects since the 1970s, including Chinese stone carvings.
o Latest sales schedule:


Tel: +212 606 7176
Tel: +44 20 7293 6000

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.