A highly anticipated sale of a collection of prized imperial Chinese porcelain at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong on Thursday night failed to live up to its hype, as many of the top lots remained unsold.
The sale of the Meiyintang Collection — amassed over half a century by a European collector and considered by some to be the most important Chinese porcelain collection in the world — was supposed to be the highlight of Sotheby’s spring sales auction week in Hong Kong. Presale estimates set the collection at 710 million to 1.07 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$91 million to US$137 million). And though the auction room was packed to capacity, with many forced to stand in the back, the collection fetched just over HK$399 million when the last hammer fell.
“There was guarded bidding on some of the top lots,” said Nicolas Chow, Sotheby’s international head of ChineseCeramics and Works of Art department, in a statement. ”As we have seen all week long, the market sets its own prices.” Sotheby’s noted prices were stronger earlier in the week.