Press Release

Three Evening Auctions at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Realise a Combined Total of HK$1.74 Billion / US$221.8 Million- Highest Total Ever Achieved in a Single Evening at Sotheby’s Hong Kong -

By Sotheby's
De Beers Blue Diamond Achieves HK$451 Million / US$57.5 Million - Among the Highest Prices Ever Achieved for Any Diamond Sold at Auction -

5 Lots Sell For Over HK$100 Million  / US$13 Million Louise Bourgeois |The De Beer Blue Diamond | Wu Guanzhong | Yoshitomo Nara | Pablo Picasso

Picasso’s Dora Maar Sells to a Japanese Collector for HK$169.4 Million / US$21.6 Million Second Highest Price Ever Achieved for the Artist in Asia

Louise Bourgeois’ Spell-Binding Bronze Spider IV Realises HK$129 Million / US$16.5 MillionBecomes the Most Valuable Sculpture To be Offered in Asia
“Bourgeois’ Spider, like Picasso’s portrait of Dora Maar, is one of those works that, once seen, is never forgotten. What an honour to bring them to Hong Kong, to see them excite so many viewers in our galleries, and to see them pursued in our sale room. Western artists have come to feature relatively large in our Hong Kong sales, but what’s particularly exciting for me is to see them in dialogue with their Asian counterparts, great artists like Wu Guanzhong, Chu Teh-Chun and Yoshitomo Nara, all of whom - as we saw during the evening - enjoy a huge following, both here in Asia and around the world.”
Alex Branczik, Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s Asia

Hong Kong, 28 April 2022 Collectors from around the globe joined Sotheby’s Hong Kong yesterday evening for a series of Marquee sales which together realised HK$1.74bn / US$221.8m - the highest total ever achieved in a single evening of sales at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

Live-streamed via Sotheby’s website and across an additional nine social and broadcast platforms in Asia and the rest of the world, the three sales spanned offerings of Modern and Contemporary Art, as well as a single lot sale of the De Beers Blue - the largest blue diamond ever to be offered at auction.

Overarching Takeaways from the Sales:

● Nearly all the works offered found new homes (almost 95% of the Modern sale, and 98% of the Contemporary sale

● Just under 50% of bidders participated online

● Five works sold for over HK$100m / US$13m: Pablo Picasso’s Dora Maar, Wu Guanzhong’s Plum Blossoms, The De Beers Blue diamond, Yoshitomo Nara’s Oddly Cozy and Louise Bourgeois’s Spider IV

● Over three quarters of the offerings were completely fresh to the market

    Modern Evening Auction

    ● Sale total: HK$543m / US$69.2m (est. HK$411.8-595.7m / US$52.5-75.9m)

    ● 94.4% of lots sold

    ● Nearly 60% of lots exceeded their high estimates

    ● Sale saw participation online on half of the lots sold

    ● Records set for Le Pho (HK$17.9m / US$2.3m), Li Huayi (HK$12.5m / US$1.6m); Amad Sadali (HK$5.3m / US$674,000); André Brasilier (HK$3.8m / US$481,761); for a work on paper by Lalan (HK$3.5m/ US$176,600) and for a sculpture by Wang Huaiqing (HK$1.3m / US$160,587)

    Standout Results:

    ● Pablo Picasso’s compelling 1939 portrait of Dora Maar surpassed its estimate to sell for HK$169.4m / US$21.6m to a Japanese collector, the second highest price for the artist at auction in Asia (est. in excess of HK$138m / US$17.6m). With Sotheby’s now holding four of the top five prices for Picasso in Asia, this sale also marked the first ever auction appearance of a portrait of Dora Maar by the artist in the region

    ● Chu Teh-Chun's otherworldly abstract landscape, Vent debout, painted at the pinnacle of his career, realised HK$34.3m / US$4.4m (est. HK$20-30m)

    ● Le Pho’s three panelled canvas, Figures in a Garden, almost sextupled its high estimate to sell for HK$17.9m / US$2.3m (est. HK$2-3m), setting a new auction record for the artist

    ● Wu Guanzhong’s resplendent landscape, Plum Blossoms, from 1973 sold for HK$103.9m / US$13.2m (est. HK$90-120m)

    ● From the collection of Sir Run Run Shaw, Banquet by Chen Yifei achieved HK$54.5m / US$7m, having not been seen publicly in 20 years (est. in excess of HK$50m). A further four Southeast Asian paintings from the same collection - including works by Cheong Soo Pieng and Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès - all sold above their high estimates for a combined total of HK$17.5m / US$2.2m

    Contemporary Evening Auction

    ● Sale total: HK$746.4m / US$95.1m (est. HK$560.9-801.3m / US$71.5-102.1m)

    ● 98.1% of lots sold

    ● 61% of lots exceeded their high estimate

    ● 25% of buyers were aged 40 and under

    ● Records set for Anna Weyant ( HK$4m / US$513,878); Louise Bonnet (HK$5.7m / US$573,525); Tomokazu Matsuyama (HK$5m / US$642,348); for a work on paper by Yoshimoto Nara (HK$24.6m / US$3.1m); Robert Alice (HK$5m / US$642,348); Chris Huen Sin Kan (HK$1.9m / US$240,880); Michael Lau (HK$1.5m/ US$192,700) and a new benchmark set for Cheng Xinyi (HK$4.4m / US$562,054) in his auction debut. New auction records were also set for Atsushi Kaga (HK$2.4m / US$305,115); Peter McDonald (HK$1.5m / US$192,700) with both works selling to buyers online

    Fierce Global Competition for Works by Younger Generation of Artists:

    ● In her first appearance at auction in Asia, Anna Weyant’s still life of a flower, Josephine, sold for almost ten times its high estimate to bring a record HK$4m / US$513,878 (est. HK$250,000-450,000)

    ● Louise Bonnet’s The Ice Skater realised HK$5.7m / US$573,525 - more than 12 times its high estimate to bring a new auction record for the artist (est. HK$250,000-450,000)

    ● Shara Hughes’ Tipsy attracted bids from collectors worldwide via Sotheby’s specialists on the phones in Hong Kong, New York and London, before selling to a participant online for HK$10.2m / US$1m (est. HK$2.5-3.5m).

    ● Salman Toor’s poignant The Rooftop Singer more than doubled its pre-sale high estimate, achieving HK$4.8m / US$610,230 (est. HK$1.2-2.2m)

    ● Cheng Xinyi’s The Aperitif soared over estimate to bring HK$4.4m / US$562,054, a new auction record for the artist (est. HK$300,000-500,000)

    ● Javier Calleja’s I Hope You Don’t Mind far surpassed its pre-sale estimate, to sell for HK$6.7m / US$851,111 - more than eight times the high estimate (est. HK$600,000-800,000)

    Established Masters:

    ● Leading the Contemporary evening sale, Louise Bourgeois’ spell-binding Spider IV became the most valuable sculpture ever sold in Asia after achieving HK$129.2m / US$16.5m (est. HK$120-150m). The auction marked the first of Bourgeois’ famous Spider series to come to auction in the region

    ● In its first appearance at auction, Yoshitomo Nara’s Oddly Cozy, a superlative example from the artist’s mature output, sold for HK$112m / US$14.3m (est. HK$80-120m)

    ● Zeng Fanzhi’s compelling psychological portrait, Mask Series 1999 no. 2, realised HK$25.8m / US$2.7m (est. HK$18-28m)

    ● Yayoi Kusama’s signature Pumpkin doubled its high estimate to sell for HK$30.6m / US$3.9m, with proceeds going to Peace Japan Medical Services (est. HK$8-15m). Two further works by Kusama both eclipsed their high estimates

    Sotheby’s Hong Kong Spring sales continue on 28 April with the Modern & Contemporary Day Sales, commencing at 10AM HKT.

    The De Beers Blue Diamond

    ● A significant new benchmark for the diamond market was set, as the extraordinary ‘De Beers Blue’ - a 15.10 step-cut Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, the largest of its kind ever to appear at auction - sold for HK$451m / US$57.5m - among the highest prices ever achieved, for diamonds of any colour, on the open market

    ● The magnificent stone was purchased by a private collector represented by Wenhao Yu, Chairman of Jewellery and Watches at Sotheby’s Asia on the telephone, who - after a prolonged eight-minute bidding battle between four contestants - took the final price to well in excess of the US$48m pre-sale estimate. The sum of US$57,470,391 is a near tie with the current record-holder for a blue diamond, achieved in 2016 when The Oppenheimer Blue (14.62 carats), sold for US$57,541,779

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