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Yong Xing (1752-1823), Standard-script calligraphy, handscroll, ink on paper, 29.5 × 115cm. Sold for HK$17,250,000/ US$2,225,806. Photo Tokyo Chuo Auction

HONG KONG.- Tokyo Chuo Auction’s inaugural Hong Kong sales held at the Four Seasons Hotel on 26 November 2014 achieved an impressive total of HK$162,508,800/ US$20,969,877 and were 93% sold. Over 200 lots of fine and rare Chinese paintings, calligraphy pieces, works of art and tea wares were offered in the sales.

Mr Ando Shokei, Founder of Tokyo Chuo Auction, said: “We are delighted with the excellent results of this exciting sale. In a packed saleroom, bidding was consistently active throughout the day, pushing the prices of many lots well above their estimates. Works of rarity, impeccable provenance and freshness to the market were particularly sought after and achieved fantastic prices. Tokyo Chuo Auction endeavours to foster cultural exchange between Japan and China. We are fully committed to developing our business in Hong Kong and the region, bringing more superb works from eminent Japanese collections to our sales.”

The top selling lot was Standard-script Calligraphy by Yong Xing (1752-1823) which realized HK$17,250,000/ US$2,225,806 after spirited bidding, tripling its pre-sale high estimate and establishing a new record price for a calligraphy work by Yong Xing at auction (Lot 237). Yong Xing, the 11th son of Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795) was an esteemed calligraphy master of the Qing Dynasty and Emperor Qianlong frequently ordered him to inscribe Imperial edicts, as his calligraphy was very favourable to the sovereign. This rare handscroll was in the collection of the Qing court and was also recorded in the catalogue of the Qing Imperial Collection.

Another highlight in the Chinese Classical Painting and Calligraphy sale was a large calligraphy scroll, Poem in Running Script by Wang Duo (1592–1652) which commanded HK$13,800,000/ US$1,780,645, well above its pre-sale high estimate (Lot 252). Rendered with vigorous and domineering strokes, the slightly elongated characters exude strength and manifest the artist’s personality.


Wang Duo (1592-1652), Poem in running script. Hanging scroll, ink on satin, 251 x 48 cm. Sold for HK$HK$13,800,000/ US$1,780,645. Photo Tokyo Chuo Auction

There was robust bidding for Rural Life, an album of twelve leaves by Hua Yan (1682-1756) which achieved HK$8,625,000/ US$1,112,903 (Lot 258), far exceeding pre-sale expectations.


Hua Yan (1682-1756), Rural life. Album of twelve leaves, ink and colour on silk, 26 x 37 cm x12. Sold for HK$8,625,000/ US$1,112,903. Photo Tokyo Chuo Auction

Other highlights included The Fourth Chapter of the Lotus Sutra from Dunhuang (Anonymous), Tang Dynasty (HK$7,475,000/ US$964,516, Lot 247), Poem in Running Script by Zhang Ruitu (1570-1641) (HK$6,095,000/ US$786,452, Lot 253), Poetry by Qu Yuan in Small Standard Calligraphy by Wen Zhengming (1470-1559) (HK$5,865,000/ US756,774, Lot 249) and Antique Rubbings by Wu Dacheng (1835-1902) (HK$4,485,000/ US$578,710, Lot 262).

Two splendid pieces of agarwood attracted fierce competition and sold for HK$9,430,000/ US$1,216,774, more than ten times their pre-sale high estimate (Lot 160).


Two pieces of fine agarwood. L:24cm, 369g – L:34cm, 792g. Sold for HK$9,430,000/ US$1,216,774. Photo Tokyo Chuo Auction

In the Chinese Modern Paintings sale, there was enormous interest for Bamboos, Cranes by Pine Tree, a pair of two-panelled screens painted on golden silk by Wu Changshuo (1844- 1927) and Wang Zhen (1867-1938) which realized a strong price of HK$6,900,000/ US$890,323, more than five times the pre-sale estimate (Lot 24).

To commemorate the 170th anniversary of the birth of Wu Changshuo, Tokyo Chuo Auction presented a representative selection of his works, including Peaches (HK$5,750,000/ US$741,935, Lot 18) and Loquats and Peaches (HK$4,140,000/ US$534,194, Lot 17); both realized prices beyond their estimates.


Wu Changshuo (1844- 1927), Peaches. Hanging scroll, ink and colour on paperSold for HK$5,750,000/ US$741,935. Photo Tokyo Chuo Auction


Wu Changshuo (1844- 1927), Loquats and peaches. Hanging scroll, ink and colour on satin. Sold for HK$4,140,000/ US$534,194. Photo Tokyo Chuo Auction

A fine cinnabar lacquer bowl with dragon design, Longqing mark and period, Ming Dynasty achieved HK$2,185,000/ US$281,935, Lot 149). Its exterior is elaborately carved with dragons cavorting amongst billowing clouds and rolling sea waves.


A fine cinnabar lacquer bowl with dragon design, Longqing mark and period, Ming Dynasty. H:8,5cm; D:18cm. Sold for HK$2,185,000/ US$281,935. Photo Tokyo Chuo Auction

Bidding was very active for exquisite teapots offered in the Ichigo Ichie: The Art of Tea Ceremony sale, reflecting the high level of interest in the market for works in this new collecting category. A pair of iron-coated silver teapots inlaid with gold calligraphy and floral design by Nakajima Kihei from the Meiji Period fetched HK$552,000/ US$71,226 (Lot 127). Other notable lots included a gold embossed teapot by Hisasusumu (HK$517,500/ US$66,774, Lot 129) and a copper-coated silver teapot with wave designed by Yamada Munemitsu from the Meiji Period (HK$ 402,500/ US$51,935, Lot 104).


Photo Tokyo Chuo Auction.