|Pictured: Yellow ground famille-rose vase, from the workshops of Emperor Qianlong, sold for $32.4 million: Sotheby's|
HONG KONG— In a sign of the continuing strength of the Asian market, Sotheby’s series of October sales in Hong Kong netted a record-shattering $HK3.08 billion ($400 million) as serious competition for rare, museum-quality Chinese objects sent the auction tallies soaring. Buyers from China's mainland dominated the salesrooms to such an extent that some wondered whether there was enough supply to meet the spiking demand for historic Asian objects. Western art offered to test the market's embraciveness, however, was largely overlooked.
On Wednesday, a Qianlong imperial white jade "Xintian Zhuren" seal featuring a pair of dragons set a world record for white jade when it fetched HK$121.6 million ($16 million), over four times its high estimate of HK$30 million. Then Thursday’s sale saw its own new record for the most expensive Chinese art object ever sold at auction: a Qianlong yellow-ground famille-rose double-gourd vase from an English collection that sold for HK$253 million ($32.4 million), achieving over five times its high estimate of HK$50 million. It was purchased by Hong Kong collector Alice Cheng, who said that "as long you like something, even if it’s expensive, it’s worth it."
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