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Sotheby’s Hong Kong Auction Sales Double to HK$4.3 Billion

May 31 (Bloomberg) ---Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction sales doubled in the first half to HK$4.3 billion ($540 million) from the same period a year ago as demand rises, Patti Wong, chairwoman of Sotheby’s Asia, said today.

The year-to-date tally was boosted by proceeds of HK$681 million from today’s sale of 25 works by 20th Chinese master Zhang Daqian, including a painting that sold for a record HK$191 million, including premium, to an Asian telephone bidder. The price was more than nine times the high estimate.

The ink-and-color hanging scroll, entitled “Lotus and Mandarin Ducks,” sets a record for Zhang, exceeding the HK$107 million established in May 2010 at China Guardian Auction Co.’s spring sale.

The works sold today belonged to the Mei Yun Tang Collection, amassed by Mr. and Mrs. Kao Ling-mei, friends of Zhang’s for more than 40 years. The paintings have unparalleled provenance (ownership credentials), said C.K. Cheung, the head of Sotheby’s Chinese paintings department.

The first-half sales figures for Sotheby’s do not include proceeds from after-auction sales and private sales, Wong said.

To contact the writer on the story: Frederik Balfour in Hong Kong at fbalfour@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

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