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Sotheby’s Sale of the Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-Chien Totals $87.3 Million

 I am showing this article verbatim as it appeared in the artdaily.com newspaper —- because it illustrates the Chinese art market scene- Chinese paintings/Chinese collectors,  and shows how important provenance always is.
 
Sotheby’s Sale of the Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-Chien Totals $87.3 Million
 

Sotheby’s Hong Kong achieves HK$4.28 billion/US$549 million in the first half of 2011. More than doubling the sale total of the first half of 2010. Photo: Sotheby’s
 

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong concluded the sale of The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien today with a triumphant total of HK$680 million / US$87.3 million, against a pre-sale estimate of HK$130 million / US$16.7 million. All the 25 masterpieces on offer were sold in just over an hour, and the top lot of the sale, Lotus and Mandarin Ducks sold for HK$191 million / US$24.5 million, setting the auction record for the artist. 

In a saleroom filled to capacity, bidders in the room and on the telephone competed fiercely for the works offered. Bidding for Lotus and Mandarin Ducks, the top lot of the sale, started at HK$10 million and concluded after approximately 30 bids when a telephone bidder defeated a rival in the room with an offering of HK$191 million / US$24.5 million (Est. HK$20 million / US$2.56 million), setting an auction record for the artist. 

Bidding for Ancient Temple Amidst Clouds also opened at HK$10 million, followed within seconds by an offering on the phone of HK$60 million that took the whole room by surprise. The bidder on the phone successfully acquired the work for HK$67.86 million / US$8.7 million (Est. HK$20 million / US$2.56 million). 

Speaking of the sale, C.K. Cheung, Head of Sotheby’s Fine Chinese Paintings department, said: “With intense bidding wars and stunning prices achieved for numerous works in just over an hour, I believe today’s highly anticipated sale of The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien has left a lasting impression on those present in the room. This is an extraordinary triumph in terms not only of its commercial success, but also in its demonstration of the artistic merits of The Mei Yun Tang Collection as well as the unwavering four-decade friendship between the artist and the collector. Sotheby’s has been extremely honoured to be entrusted with a sale of such importance and I am deeply grateful to the consignors for the support and trust they have shown to the Fine Chinese Paintings Department.” 

Kevin Ching, Chief Executive Officer, Sotheby’s Asia, comments on the sale, “Today’s sale of The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien is Sotheby’s Asia’s first-ever standalone art sale in nearly 40 years and, therefore, an important milestone in the history of Sotheby’s Asia that reinforces our leadership in the Asian art market. The stunning result achieved today proves that impeccable provenance is key to strong participation and bidding interest regardless of the date of sale. Sotheby’s will continue to source the finest artworks from around the world, and we look forward to offering to collections more collections of such quality and importance on top of our regular spring and autumn auction series.”

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