Strong Hong Kong sales results reaffirm Sotheby's market leadership in Asia

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Strong Hong Kong sales results reaffirm Sotheby's market leadership in Asia
The sale series saw strong results across all board, with a combined sell-through rate of 88% and a record high percentage of young bidders. Courtesy Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong 2022 Spring Sales Series concluded yesterday, achieving an overall total of HK$3.852 billion / US$496 million - far surpassing the pre-sale estimate of HK$3.1 billion, and establishing the second highest total ever achieved at Sotheby’s in Asia, second only to the landmark 40th Anniversary Sale in Autumn 2013. The sale series saw strong results across all board, with a combined sell-through rate of 88% and a record high percentage of young bidders.


• Spring series totals HK$3.852b / US$496m – the second highest, and an increase of almost 25% on the total achieved in October 2021
• 88% of the offerings found buyers
• 53% of the lots sold achieved prices in excess of high estimate
• 7 works sold for over HK$100m / US$13m
• Over 30 new auction records set
• Global bidding from over 70 countries/regions, with strong participation from Greater China and the U.S.
• 23 live and online sales staged


• Millennials (aged <40) accounted for over a third of all bidders across the sales (34%) - the highest since 2020
• 24% of new bidders are new to Sotheby’s: Over half of these new bidders are millennials (age < 40)
• Gen-Z collectors (age <30) made their mark in Contemporary Art. One third of the Gen-Z bidders across the Evening and Day auctions were new to Sotheby’s
• Further strong participation from Gen-Z and Millennial collectors were seen in the following sales: Nike SB | 20 Years (47%), Handbags & Accessories (43%), Important Watches II (40%)


• 78% of lots sold went to online buyers
• Online participants increase by almost a quarter year-on-year in Sotheby’s Hong Kong live auctions (24%)
• Half of this season’s new bidders were participating in online auctions
• 13 sales were livestreamed across the globe. The three livestreamed Evening Sales for the Modern & Contemporary Evening Auctions and the ‘De Beers Blue’ attracted over 3.4 million views across 10 digital and social platforms
• Digital platforms continue to be a key area of client engagement with unique visitor traffic to our website reaching an all-time high. Interactive virtual tours on attracted thousands of viewers in the lead up and during the sales


• The ‘De Beers Blue’ crowned the most valuable lot of the season: A new benchmark for the diamond market was set, as the extraordinary ‘De Beers Blue’ - a 15.10 carat step-cut Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, the largest of its kind ever to appear at auction - surpassed its estimate to sell for HK$451m / US$57.5m, among the highest prices ever achieved, for diamonds of any colour, on the open market (est. in excess of US$48m).

• Sotheby’s continues to be the market leader for Zhang Daqian: The mesmerising Landscape after Wang Ximeng achieved HK$370m / US$47m, not only smashing the artist’s previous record at auction, set by Sotheby’s in 2016, but also establishing the work as the most valuable Chinese ink painting ever sold by Sotheby’s, and the second highest price for any artwork sold at Sotheby’s Asia.

• Record high results tumbled for Luxury: Sotheby’s achieved the highest total for a sale series for Watches in Asia, speared by the “white-glove” result for The Nevadian Collector, and the new auction record set for a Patek Philippe Reference 2499 (HK$60.3m / US$7m). In Wine, the Prestigious French Wines from a Great Cellar auction was also 100% sold, achieving an above-estimate total of HK$36m / US$4.6m.

• Modern & Contemporary art sales together realised HK$1.56bn / US$198.8m: Collectors were eager to pursue works by masters and rising stars from the East and the West, with an average of 90% of the works finding buyers across the four sales. Over 20 auction records were set, and four works alone achieved more than HK$500m combined, including Pablo Picasso’s Dora Maar, which sold to a Japanese collector for the second highest price for the artist in Asia (HK$169.4m / US$21.6m) and Louise Bourgeois’ Spider IV, becoming the most valuable sculpture ever sold in Asia (HK$129m / US$16.5m). Separately, the two Contemporary Art sales achieved HK$908.6m / US$115.8m - the second highest total for a series in this category staged at Sotheby’s Asia.

• Strong demand for Chinese Art: A highly important and magnificent soapstone seal carved for the Qianlong Emperor sold for HK$153m / US$19.5m to an Asian private collector, setting the highest price for any seal ever sold at auction in Asia. (Post-sale release)

• Offerings from prestigious private collections are all 100% sold, including Prestigious French Wines from a Great Cellar, The Nevadian Collector, Gems of Imperial Porcelain from the Private Collection of Joseph Lau, and Properties from the Collection of Sir Run Run Shaw.

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