Auction result - Chinese classical paintings outperform contemporary
Ba Da Shanren's Mynah,
poem in running script calligraphy
The Song of the Pipa Player
Christie's HK sale of fine chine classical paintings, calligraphy and fine Chinese modern patintings performed extremely well, bringing in $86.2 million with 95% of the lot sold and 95% sold by value. This season's results reflect a 92% increase from last year's Autumn sale, while the average lot value also increased by 42% compared to last year. The auction house said the Mainland Chinese
buyers had been a clear force driving this category, taking nine out of the top ten lots in our Chinese Classical Paintings sale.
Competition was keen, resulting in many lots selling well over the high estimate, for example in the Classical session, nine lots sold ten times over the estimate, and works by Chen Jiru and Xiang Yuanbian sold 15 times of the estimate. The top lot - Ba Da Shanren's Mynah, poem in running script calligraphy - sold for 1.4 million (nearly 9 times over estimate), while works by other artists such as Ni Yuanlu, Hua Yan, Lan Ying also sold three to twelve times over the estimate.
Temple at the Mountain Peak
After fierce bidding, Fu Baoshi's The Song of the Pipa Player finally sold for $9 million , making it the most expensive lot of the day and creating a new world auction record for the artist. Zhang Daqian's Temple at the Mountain Peak, which sold for $7.8 million (15 times over the estimate), also proved to be immensely popular. In addition, a new milestone was achieved for Zhang Xue Liang, whose Calligraphic Couplet sold 63 times over the estimate.
Chinese buyers are getting it right when they're placing more value on the works of artists long gone than on those that are still churning paintings off their easel (sometime factory like)