Sotheby’s Asia achieved record sales in the first half of 2014, totalling HK$3.82 Billion / US$490 million, leading all international auction houses in the region. The sales results are up nearly 50% on the same period last year.
Kevin Ching, Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby’s Asia, said: “Fuelled by robust demand for art in Asia, Sotheby’s strong performance was driven by two factors: our ability to source the best and rarest properties from the world’s great collections as well as expertise in curating sales that appeal to discerning art lovers at all levels of the market by creating opportunities to experience the magic of collecting.
“Sotheby’s focus on offering appealing properties at the right estimates delivers the greatest value to our clients and drives the exceptional results that secure the company’s leadership in this growing and competitive market.”
In the first six months of 2014 in Asia, Sotheby’s sold three works of art for more than HK$100 million. More than 20 world auction records were set, capped by the exceptional Meiyintang “Chicken Cup” which established a world auction record for Chinese porcelain.
Sotheby’s also achieved six of the top 10 artwork prices in the Asian auction market. Average sell-through rate remained strong at 91%.
As the art market in Asia broadens, Sotheby’s continues to expand its client base. In the first half of 2014, 22% of all bidders were new to Sotheby’s. The auction house sourced works from 46 countries and attracted participation by collectors from 56 countries.
Catering to the broadening tastes of Asian collectors, Sotheby’s continues to showcase selected highlights from its major overseas auctions in Hong Kong, including Impressionist and Modern Art from New York, London and Paris, Contemporary Art from New York, Jewellery and Watches from New York and Geneva, as well as Old Master Paintings from London.
Asian clients’ participation, both as bidders and buyers, in Sotheby’s international salerooms, and the amount spent, continues to increase year on year.
In response to the rapidly evolving art market in Asia, the company has successfully expanded its business in Asia beyond the traditional twice-annual series of auctions by introducing a multi-channel business model.
As the first international fine arts business operating in China, Sotheby’s remains highly focused on developing its presence in the country. Following the success of its Beijing Art Week last December, Sotheby’s Beijing Spring Sale and Selling Exhibition 2014 attracted new Chinese bidders and buyers who responded enthusiastically to the exhibition of works on paper by important 20th Century Modern masters, Masters on Paper – From Picasso to Sanyu, educational programmes and an auction of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art.
Sotheby’s said the success of the event fully demonstrated its ability to contribute to Beijing’s growing standing as an international platform for art transactions and exchange.