Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 May, 2009, 12:00am

The spring auctions continue this week with Bonhams holding sales on May 20 and 21, followed by Christie's from May 24 to 27.

The highlights at Bonhams include an enamelled glass double-gourd snuff bottle with Qianlong mark and period. The auctioneer says it is a fine example of imperial snuff bottle artistry, and it is estimated to fetch between HK$200,000 and HK$$300,000.

Chairman of Bonhams Asia Colin Sheaf says despite a general lack of confidence around the financial markets, 'auctions of Chinese art over the past few months have shown an encouraging resilience to perceived weakness elsewhere'.

'We anticipate buoyant attendances and enthusiastic bidding from experienced audiences familiar with classic Chinese art,' he says.

Another noteworthy piece in the fine Chinese ceramics and works of art category is the gilt-bronze figure of Sakyamuni Buddha in bhumispasa mudra or 'touching the earth' pose. Bonhams says it is rare to find such a large Buddha figure from the Kanxi period. The estimate for it is between HK$4 million and HK$6 million.

Over at Christie's two paintings by Chinese ink master Zao Wou-ki - from the Harvard Art Museum collection - will come under the hammer in the evening sale of Asian contemporary art and Chinese 20th-century art on May 24.

Vent et Poussiere and Nous deux are two early works of the artist, says the auction house, showing how he left the pure structure of characters, landscape and still life for his now well-known abstract style of painting.

The Bonhams sales will be held at the Island Shangri-La while Christie's is at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre