The strategy of development inside the mainland China awarded Sotheby ‘s thanks to a series of events and exhibitions dedicated to Chinese art organized in the week from 28 November to 1 December in Beijing , which ended with a resounding sale auction , which totaled $ 37 million .
Unlike rival Christie’s, in fact, Sotheby’s is allowed to sell Chinese art in mainland thanks to a joint venture set up in September 2012 with the auction house state-owned Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group, which Sotheby’s holds 80 % of the shares. Christie’s hosted its first auction in China last September in Shanghai, selling over $ 25 million in luxury goods and art objects , except for Chinese names , but without a local partner entering directly into the Chinese structure.
The first auction of Sotheby’s in Beijing has brought an important record for the artist Zao Wou -Ki , for a work of 1958 entitled Abstraction , sold to the Chinese collector Zhang Xiaojun for $ 14.7 million , after a battle between 8 bidders in the room and at the phone lasted 5 minutes , shattering the previous record of $ 11 million a month ago in Hong Kong , at Sotheby’s.
The work started from an estimate of $ 5-7 million as well as the second top lot of the same artist, from an estimate of just under a million dollars came to $ 7.3 million. Big surprises also for other artists such as Chen Fei , Wang Xingwei , Ai Xuan , Li Shuang.
Overall, 29 lots have not found a buyer among the 141 in the catalog, bringing the percentage to 79.4 % sold by lot and 88 % by value.
But the whole week brought into the pockets of Sotheby’s $ 212 million along with private sales , including old master Western paintings, modern art , furniture and jewelry. Among the most important works, a work by Rembrandt at $ 56 million , $ 8 million for a Picasso , a bronze by Rodin at $ 1.6 million.
Christie ‘s and Sotheby’s are taking advantage of the renewed Chinese regulations for foreign firms , with two different forms of commercial access to the mainland , but that pay off both houses with amazing results thanks to the work of information and also art education to Chinese tycoons , with major exhibitions , video content , publications and numerous events.
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