Today at Sothebys
Hong Kong 20th Century Chinese Art Autumn Sale 2009, Sanyus monumental Lotus et Poissons Rouges commanded HK$36,500,000/ US$4,680,000, selling to a Chinese buyer over the telephone after heated competition with five other bidders from across Asia (est. HK$15-25 million/ US$1,940,000-3,230,000).
Sothebys achieved the second highest auction price for Sanyu as well as an auction record for a landscape painting by the artist for this rare masterpiece, which has been unseen by the public for over half a century.
Zao Wou-kis 7.4.61 was sold for HK$15,780,000/ US$2,023,077 against an estimate of HK$8-12 million/ US$1-1.5 million. After an intense bidding battle between at least three bidders, this significant work was eventually sold to an anonymous bidder in the room.
Lily Lee, Sothebys Head of 20th Century Chinese Art Department said, We were pleased with the results we achieved today, particularly for the masterworks by Sanyu and Zao Wu-ki. We recognized Lotus et Poissons Rouges immediately as a work of exceptional importance, carefully cultivating top collectors through our pre-sale efforts to result in the atmosphere that created the strong price achieved today. This demonstrates once again that collectors are willing to pay premium prices for noble, seminal works that are fresh to the market. We are honored to have been entrusted to sell such extraordinary paintings, and we look forward to offering more quality, rare works with great provenance to the market.