Chinese Painting Consignment
When you are ready to sell a Chinese painting, Sotheby's specialists are available to help you consign the work for the highest prices at auction. Sotheby's offers dedicated sales of classical and modern Chinese art in Hong Kong.
Sotheby’s Chinese painting specialists are leaders in their field. Each season, we discover, authenticate, and sell record-breaking paintings dating from the 12th century to the present day. Sotheby’s team has achieved phenomenal sales in the last decade – from the record-breaking Mei Yun Tang Collection sale series in 2011 and 2013, to the outstanding auction results which have outpaced other international auction houses in the region for the past four consecutive years.
For Modern Chinese Paintings, our success is fueled by our unchallenged market leadership in the sales of Zhang Daqian works, having set the artist’s world auction record repeatedly in 2011, 2016, and mostly recently in our 2022 Spring sale, which stands as the artist’s world auction record and the most valuable Chinese painting ever sold by Sotheby’s. With our devotion to quality and unparalleled expertise, Sotheby’s Chinese painting team established its leadership in selling Wu Guanzhong’s work and has achieved spectacular results for artists including Lin Fengmian, Li Keran, Huang Binhong, Qi Baishi, Fu Baoshi, Pu Ru and other greats, often many times over estimates. In addition to leading the market for four consecutive years, the department holds the highest annual sell-through rate and highest sale total against estimate for the past six years.
Classical Chinese Paintings performs strongly on imperial collections and literati calligraphies. Sotheby’s achieved world records of two court painters, Qian Weicheng and Yu Xing, and the most valuable painting ever sold in Sotheby’s Asia – Ren Renfa’s Five Drunken Princes Returning on Horseback, plus stellar results for works by Dong Qichang, Zhang Bi, Badashanren, Zhang Wenjing, Yang Shen, Shen Zhou, Wen Zhengming, among others.
Our unrivaled capability in delivering the greatest value for our clients positions Sotheby's well to propel the art market forward. Now is the perfect time to sell your antique or modern Chinese painting or scroll in one of our upcoming sales. Please submit your submit images and information through our easy-to-use online form for a complimentary estimate.Hong Kong Sales: Chinese Paintings that Achieved Phenomenal Results at AuctionLaunch Slideshow
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Chinese Paintings Consigned with Sotheby's
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Frequently Asked Questions
- How much is my Chinese painting worth?Chinese paintings from the 12th century to the 20th century can range in value based on the provenance, condition, rarity and artist. As the market leader for fine and rare Chinese paintings and calligraphy, Sotheby's specialists are highly qualified to help you determine the market value of your artwork. Simply submit your painting details online and our specialists can provide you with a complimentary estimate. Please note that we cannot provide auction estimates for items valued at less than 5,000 USD, 3,000 GBP, or 40,000 HKD.
- When do Sotheby's auctions of Chinese art occur?Sotheby's hosts auctions of Chinese art in New York during March and September, as well as in Hong Kong during April and October. Occasional sales also take place at Sotheby's Paris. Regardless of the time of year, Sotheby's specialists are always ready to help you determine the value of your Chinese art and recommend the best strategy to sell artwork or consign an art collection. Find out more about upcoming auctions here .
- What do classical Chinese paintings represent?In traditional Chinese painting, the elements of nature play a leading role. For example, the orchid is a symbol of loyalty and virtue; fiercely brushed dragons signify power and prosperity; and gnarled pine trees are indicative of the indomitable spirit of survival and longevity. Other recurring motifs in Chinese paintings are mountains. China has a time-honored pictorial tradition of depicting the immortal world. Sacred mountains, inspired by Daoist lore, often lie at the center of such artistic expressions. Many scholars believe that the Chinese character for immortals, xian, in its different variations, is etymologically related to mountains. With their imposing peaks, mysterious caves and winding pilgrimage roads, mountains were the focal point of cult worships even before the formation of religious Daoism. As a space inhabited by the revered immortals and shrouded by mystical clouds, mountains remain the most important sacred home to Daoist temples and retreats, as well as the home to magical herbs and fungi that provide for healing and longevity.
- Who are the top-selling modern Chinese painters?In the 20th century, the Chinese artistic milieu entered a new epoch. At the watershed between preeminence of traditional painting and influx of western culture, artists were divided into preserving convention and propelling the transformation of traditional ink painting. Modern Chinese painting is therefore characterized by an unprecedented diversity of style and substance. Many of the best-selling modern Chinese artists embraced this change, propelling their works to new heights. A few of these artists include Zhang Daqian, Fu Baoshi, Jiang Zhaohe, Yu Fei'an, Xu Beihong, Wu Guanzhong, Li Keran, Lu Yanshao, Zhu Qizhan, and Lin Fengmian.
- Will Sotheby's buy my Chinese painting directly?Sellers can consign their paintings to be sold at auction or privately with Sotheby's, but we do not purchase art directly from clients. While our primary auctions occur four times a year in New York and Hong Kong, we have live and online sales happening throughout the year. Once you submit your painting details online, our specialists can discuss the best selling options with you.
More information on how to sell with Sotheby's
Sotheby’s is your best resource to sell Chinese Paintings from the 12th to the 20th centuries, including a calligraphy couplet, poetry, poem, song or letter on fine paper, scroll or fan. In particular demand are the works by top artists such as Su Shi, Zhang Wenjing, Zhang Yu, Zhang Bi, Zhu Yunming, Tang Yin, Wen Zhengming, Chen Chun, Sun Kehong, Dong Qichang, Zhang Ruitu, Wang Duo, Wang Shimin, Chen Hongshou, Zhu Da (Bada Shanren), Wang Hui, Yung Shouping, Shitao (Yuanji), Zheng Xie, Qian Weicheng, Lu Zhi, Yuan Yao, Yi Bingshou, and Weng Tonghe, Huang Binhong, Qi Baishi, Yu Fei'an, Zhu Qizhan, Wu Hufan, Xu Beihong, Pan Tianshou, Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien), Lin Fengmian, Jiang Zhaohe, Li Keran, Lu Yanshao, Xie Zhiliu, Wu Guanzhong, and Chen Peiqui.