Visitors look at artwork at an auction preview in Hong Kong (AFP, Mike Clarke)(Hong Kong) – A series of auctions of high-end goods from fine wine to Imperial Chinese ceramics goes into full swing this weekend in Hong Kong, as the city challenges the dominance of New York and London.
The multi-million-dollar auctions are looking to cash in on the vast wealth of China’s growing number of millionaires keen to show off their newly-made cash.
Christie’s six-day Spring sale kicks off Friday with more than 2,700 lots, including a rare Patek Philippe watch and several pieces of contemporary art, that the house expects to rake in about HK$2.4 billion ($308 million).
And on Tuesday rival Sotheby’s will be hoping buyers will stump up as much HK$130 million for a series of paintings by famed Chinese artist Chang Dai-chien.
“This area is becoming a more and more important market for us,” Christie’s chief executive Steven Murphy told a press briefing Thursday, adding that Greater China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, was one of the firm’s “fastest-growing markets.”
Already this week, Bonhams Hong Kong said it posted a “Golden Gavel triumph” with the HK$38.3 million sale of Chinese snuff bottles on Wednesday.
But the big money should begin rolling in from Friday, when Christie’s begins its sale, which includes hundreds of Chinese ceramics that may draw more than HK$1 billion and a Patek Philippe watch, which it says could fetch HK$9.5 million.
Visitors look at artwork at an auction preview in Hong Kong (AFP, Mike Clarke)