Chinese paintings calligraphy and furniture
t is a constant of history: the role each country plays in the art market is proportionate to its power. China is no exception. For years, Chinese collectors at home or abroad eagerly snatched up their heritage at auctions in Paris, London or New York. Less is known about China's home market, but one thing is certain: China Guardian Auctions has become the world's third-largest auctioneer since starting up in 1993. The group, which until now only had a network of representation offices here, has just held its first
auction outside China – if you put Hong Kong in that category, at any rate. For a first try, China Guardian Auctions pulled off quite a masterstroke. The sale's 350 lots totalled HK$455M(approximately US$58.6M), more than doubling initial estimates; the paintings and calligraphy tripled them. Over 20 collectors vied for Qi Baishi's Album of Mountains and Rivers, bidding the 1922 watercolour's price up to HK$46m. Next came Xu Beihong's 1936 masterpiece “L’Aigle et le Pin” (The Eagle and the Pine Tree) (HK$21.27m; another,
HK$6.32 M A Huanghuali Kang Table with Everted Flanges and Foot-Stretcher Early Qing, 161 x 46 x 44 cm.
GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL I N° 19