The chill winds of the global financial crisis may have cooled art lovers' ardour, if the result of Sotheby's Hong Kong art auction yesterday is any indication. On the second day of the auction, 71 of 110 lots of 20th century Chinese art on offer went unsold. Those that were sold fetched about HK$35 million, according to the New York-based auction house. The priciest lot sold was an abstract painting by Zhao Wuji. It fetched HK$4.22 million, failing to realise estimates of between HK$4.7 million and HK$5.5 million. At last night's charity Sport in Art sale, for which Sotheby's teamed up with adidas, only about 43 per cent of the lots were sold. The auction, whose proceeds will benefit Right to Play China and its relief efforts for those affected by the Sichuan earthquake in May, fetched more than HK$6.3 million. A Sotheby's spokeswoman said the auction house was satisfied with the response. She declined to comment on the suggestion that price estimates had been overblown. Yesterday's sale of contemporary Chinese art also saw 37 of the 187 lots on offer unsold. Those that sold fetched a total of HK$90.5 million. Lily Lee, who oversaw the 20th century Chinese art sale, said demand was solid but 'buyers were very selective'. Yesterday's results appeared to confirm buying sentiment that saw about 40 per cent of lots unsold at Saturday's evening sale of modern and contemporary Asian art. Sotheby's chief executive Kevin Ching last night said it was too early to say if it was due to the financial crisis. He cited last month's sale of 218 Damien Hirst items for #111 million (HK$1.52 billion) in London, hours after the Lehman Brothers collapse. He said the comparatively poor response to Chinese contemporary art sales was understandable. 'The market for Chinese contemporary art has experienced unprecedented growth over the past five years - from US$3 million in 2004 to US$194 million last year. It is not surprising that there will be some levelling off.' Meanwhile, the Transport Department's auction of personalised car number plates yesterday also saw a record low turnover since the scheme started two years ago. Only HK$2.4 million was raised.