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Sotheby’s furthers Hong Kong fine wine clout

Powered by two Sotheby’s auctions, Hong Kong gained further clout in the international auction market last weekend.

Sotheby’s sold 100% of two American collections, generating US$7,889,340, far above the pre-sale high estimate of US$6,130,436.

Ninety-nine percent of buyers were Asians, and 79% of the lots brought prices above the top estimates.

The high point was the record-setting US$93,077 paid for an Imperial (six-litre bottle) of 1982 Château Pétrus.

Serena Sutcliffe MW, who heads Sotheby’s international wine department, said Asian buyers represented 99% of buyers in the 3-4 October sale.

‘Hong Kong has become Sotheby’s most important wine centre, ahead of very successful auctions in New York and London,’ Sutcliffe said.

Sotheby’s introduced live online bidding with a live video and audio feed in its Hong Kong this season; online bidders sought 56% of consignments offered.

The house’s opening autumn auction in New York mirrored the comeback of the blue-chip American market, which experienced low prices during the economic downturn much of the year.

That Aulden Cellars/Sotheby’s sale, on 25-26 September, brought $3,347,798, just beyond the $3.2m projection.

Again 1982 Château Pétrus led the way, with a case fetching $54,450 ($35,000 high estimate).

Zachys realized $4,179,636, a hair over the high estimate, in its 12 September auction. This sum, reflecting 99.3% of lots sold, was the most it has generated in its US auctions since May 2008.

The biggest earner was six bottles of 2005 Romanée-Conti, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (high-estimated at $40,000), which fetched $52,800.

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Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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