Press Release

Sotheby's Leads All International Auction Houses in Asia for Fourth Consecutive Year

Hong Kong
2019 Auction Sales Total HK$7.35 Billion / US$936 Million

- 16% Lead in Market Share Over Its Nearest Competitor -

- 8 Out of the Top 10 Lots in All Hong Kong Auctions -

- Market Leader in Western Art Sales in Asia -

- Global Contribution by Sotheby’s Asian Clients -

2019 Hong Kong fall sales auction scene

"Sotheby’s emerges yet again as the definitive market leader for the fourth consecutive year in Asia, outpacing our competitors on many fronts. Fuelling our success is our adamant devotion to quality, constant innovation, and the unparalleled expertise of our specialists, which helped us fully leverage the sustained strength and potential of this region. Our outstanding results in 2019 positions us ever more strongly in propelling our business and the wider art market forward in 2020."
Kevin Ching, CEO of Sotheby’s Asia


Aggregate sales reach HK$7.35 billion (US$936 million), marking the second highest total in Sotheby’s history in the region. Sotheby’s leads Asia for the fourth year in a row, with 16% lead in market share over its nearest competitor

Delivering for consignors:
- Consistently high sell through rates average 88% over the year
- Strong prices against estimate: aggregate total is 150% over low estimate
- 60% of the lots sold at or above high estimate

Sotheby’s sold 8 out of the 10 highest-value auction lots in Hong Kong

11 works sold over HK$100 million

Set 40+ world auction records

Market leader across categories, including:
Chinese Works of Art: HK$1.52 billion (US$193 million)
Leading the Chinese Works of Art market in Asia for 10 consecutive years
Fine Chinese Paintings: HK$884 million (US$112.6 million)
Modern Art: HK$1.55 billion (US$197.2 million) - Click HERE for Market Report
Second highest total in Sotheby’s Asia
Contemporary Art: HK$1.63 billion (US$207.2 million) – Click HERE for Market Report
Highest among all auction houses in Asia
Southeast Asian Art: HK$258 million (US$32.8 million)
Wine: HK$461 million (US$58.7 million)
Highest total in Sotheby’s Asia

Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary Sales Combined Total Reached

- 1.4 Times Over the Nearest Competitor -


- Global participation with buyers from 55 countries

- New generation of buyers: 25% of buyers in Asia aged 40 or below. Nearly 50% of buyers in NIGOLDENEYE© sale were aged under 40

- 31% of buyers were new to Sotheby’s Asia


- Dominant force in worldwide sales: Asian clients account for 30%* of Sotheby’s worldwide auction sales

- Eye on top-end: Out of the top 20 lots sold by Sotheby’s worldwide, Asian clients bid on 15 and bought nine

A real standout for me is the record high sales of Modern and Contemporary Asian Art as well as Western works here in Asia, together with Asian clients' significant contribution in Sotheby's global salerooms, bagging 9 out of the top 20 works we sold in 2019. These remarkable results speak for our industry-leading effort to develop and grow the Western Art market in Asia and our ability to expand our clients' collecting fields.
Patti Wong, Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia


- Sotheby’s continues to lead the market for Western Art in Asia with a sales total of HK$758 million (US$96.6 million), nearly double the total of its nearest competitors combined

- Number of Asian clients buying Western art at Sotheby’s worldwide sales grew by 22%*

- At Sotheby’s New York Contemporary Art Evening Sale in November, the three top lots - works by Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still, were all acquired by Asian collectors


- Increased to 10 online-only auctions in 2019 with sales quadruple in value

- No. of online buyers doubles in 2019

Year after year we have achieved exceptional performance against estimates and consistently strong sell through rates, leaving no doubt of Sotheby's unrivalled capability in delivering the greatest value for our clients.
Nicolas Chow, Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia, International Head and Chairman, Chinese Works of Art

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