An Asian telephone bidder paid a record $26.4m for an ink and color scroll by Zhang Daqien yesterday at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. That was more than 10 times the $2.6m estimate for the work, “Lotus & Mandarin Ducks.” That huge result turned out to be a pattern. The auction house was hoping for $16.7m for the 25 Zhang Daqien offerings drawn from the legendary Mei Yun Tang collection. Instead, the sale brought in an astonishing $87.5m.
The previous record for the artist had been $13.7m, a price achieved at a May 2010 sale at China Guardian Auction Co. One reason for the high prices paid at the more recent sale, according to Sotheby’s C.K. Cheung, was the “unparalleled provenance” of the paintings. As we described in an earlier post, they were collected by a couple who were close friends of the artist, and had never before appeared on the market.
Read more at San Francisco Chronicle.