The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, June 20, 2019


Major Chinese Ceramics Sale at Sotheby's in Hong Kong Fails to Live Up to Hype
Falangcai Vase With Golden Pheasants and a Poetic Colophon'. Sotheby's withdrew the item from auction after it fetched less than expected. EPA/YM YIK.

By: James Pomfret


HONG KONG (REUTERS).- A major collection of Chinese ceramics seen as one of the best to be sold in decades, fell flat in a Sotheby's sale on Thursday, in a surprise setback for the market given a relative lack of Chinese buying interest and high estimates.

Amid great market expectations, four hundred people crammed into Sotheby's Hong Kong auction room for a chance to witness the sale of perhaps the best and last intact major private Western collections of Chinese ceramics, assembled over half a century by Swiss pharmaceutical tycoons, the Zuellig brothers.

Bidding though, was surprisingly tame from the start for the 77 lots of Ming and Qing wares spanning dynasties from the 14th to 18th centuries, with 30 percent of lots going unsold and the sale netting just $51.2 million, around half the pre-sale estimate.

"There was guarded bidding on some of the top lots. As we have seen all week long, the market sets its own prices," said Nicolas Chow, Sotheby's deputy Asia chairman.

The aggressive, effusive participation of Chinese buyers, which last autumn helped power a record-breaking sale of ceramics from the collection of J.T. Tai, was absent on the night, as some mainland Chinese dealers grumbled about high prices, and many walked out before the end.

One exceptional piece -- a pear-shaped, eight-inch tall Qing vase with a brilliantly painted pair of golden pheasants had been expected to fetch $23 million, but bidding spluttered after the opening price was set at HK$100 million.

The pheasant vase had been sold by Sotheby's in 1997 for HK$9 million.

A rare palace bowl from the Chenghua Ming period (1465-1487), unblemished, with a blue and white pattern of fruiting melons and vines also went unsold after failing to hit its reserve price of HK$80 million.

Market participants said the ceramics, reflecting the Zuelligs' refined eye for more understated ceramics, may have appealed less to Chinese buyers who have most prized more ostentatious, spectacular late Qing pieces.

"You can't force it on the Chinese. It's always better to have ten hands go up in the air for a low estimate than to have two hands or no hands at a much higher estimate," said James Hennessy, a Western Asian art dealer who bought an exquisite blue and white 'fish Pond' early Ming brushwasher for 6.6 million in a rare bright spot on the night.

"A lot of it is speculators and they want to feel as if there's a return at the end of the day."

The Meiyintang (Hall Among the Rose Beds) collection had lain cloistered with the intensely private Zuellig family in Switzerland, closed to the eyes of all but a handful of insiders, and was known largely from catalogues by noted sinologist Regina Krahl.

Some said the results shouldn't necessarily be seen as a blow to the market, with the March New York sales of Chinese ceramics doing particularly well including an ornate 'famille Rose' gold decorated vase that went for around $18 million.

While the growing scarcity of exceptional imperial ceramics has fueled higher prices as Chinese millionaires repatriate pieces back from the West, the auction was also a sign the Chinese aren't willing to be led on by excessive estimates.

"The Chinese aren't stupid," said Robin Markbreiter, the director of Arts of Asia magazine. "They will look at the market prices as well and use that as a benchmark. It's a sign that they don't want to pay over the top."

(Editing by Paul Casciato)





Today's News

April 8, 2011

Exhibition in Barcelona Explores the Realist Movement through Courbet's Paintings

Sotheby's Greek Sale to Include Important Examples of Greek Modernism by Masters

Andy Warhol Painting Bought for $1,600 Could Fetch $30 Million at Christie's Sale

China's Foreign Ministry Transcript Omits Mentions of Detained Artist Ai Weiwei

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Reaches Purchase Agreement for 17th-Century Tapestries

Westervelt Collection To Highlight Christie's American Paintings Sale May 18

Bonhams in London Hammers Bronze into Gold in Chinese Art Sale Next Month

Twenty-One Museums and Science and Visitor Centers Vie To Get Retired Space Shuttles

Historic Abbey of San Clemente a Casauria Damaged in 2009 Abruzzo Earthquake Reopens

Twenty Portraits of Helena Rubinstein to Be Offered by Sotheby's in New York

Dallas Museum of Art Director Bonnie Pitman to Step Down, Olivier Meslay to Serve as Interim Director

The Whitney Presents Dianna Molzan's First Solo Museum Show and New York Debut

Maine Labor Art's Removal Strikes Sensitive Nerve in Politics, Academia and the Art World

Philip Taaffe's First-Ever Solo Exhibition in London Opens at Gagosian Gallery

Bonnard's Le Petit Déjeuner to Highlight Christie's Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale

Major Chinese Ceramics Sale at Sotheby's in Hong Kong Fails to Live Up to Hype

Ceramics Produce Fireworks During Garth's March Americana Auction

Auctions America by RM Acquires Bator Vintage Motorcycle Auctions

High to Showcase Works by Alfred Stieglitz and His Circle from Atlanta Collections

2011 Portland Museum of Art Biennial Highlights 47 Contemporary Maine Artists

New Version of the Two-Man Orchestra Led by Wilhelm Bruck and Matthias Würsch at Museum Tinguely

Asia Week New York 2011 Announces Sales Over $250 Million, Double and Triple Attendance

Silvio Berlusconi and Moroccan Teenage Lover Ruby on Auction at Milan Art Dealer

Sotheby's London Sale of Contemporary Turkish Art Realises Total of £2.3 Million

Brooch that Belonged to Queen Victoria Reigns Over Bonhams Jewellery Sale

First Exhibition to Focus on Motif of the Open Window in 19th Century Art at Metropolitan Museum

Winners of 2011 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards Announced

LACMA and Film Independent Join Forces on New Film Series

Archives of American Art Receives Second Multimillion Dollar Grant to Support Digitization Project

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Art of early man found in the greatest meteor crater on earth

2.- Exhibition celebrates Helmut Newton's 50-year career through a rare and unseen collection of vintage prints

3.- World's most costly painting on Saudi prince's yacht: report

4.- Sotheby's celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing with an auction

5.- Domaine de Chantilly exhibits Leonardo da Vinci's 'Nude Mona Lisa'

6.- New book offers front-row seat to greatest concert in history

7.- The New York Botanical Garden opens its largest botanical exhibition ever

8.- The most famous car in the world: RM Sotheby's presents James Bond Aston Martin DB5

9.- Mexico unearths what may be historic recording of Frida Kahlo

10.- Exhibition of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's paintings marks centenary of his death



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful