Art boom... Christie's first half art sales in Asia shoot up 48% on 2010


Asia's appetite for the finest artworks shows no sign of abating, according to new figures.

Auction house Christie's first half numbers indicate that its art sales in Asia were up 48% on the same period in 2010 to £296m.

The figures put Asia far ahead of the general trend, with Christie's global art sales showing a 10% increase during the first six months of the year.

The results are further evidence of the growing desire among high-net worth individuals in the increasingly prosperous Asian market for the best, most desirable, artworks.

A similar trend has been seen in the global wine market.

Many famous pieces by Chinese artists are now returning home after decades and sometimes centuries in Europe and North America.

This Qi Baishi made $65.5m at a
Beijing sale in May

An artwork by Qi Baishi made $65.5m at a China Guardian auction in Beijing in May, a record for a contemporary Chinese artwork.

"The continued demand for art in the first half of this year is a clear indication of the enduring vigour and passion for great works of art throughout the world," said Steven Murphy, the chief executive officer at Christie's International.

Christie's assertion that Asia is the "fastest growing art market in the world" is borne out by a recent report for the French Auction Market Authority, which indicates that China, including Hong Kong, enjoyed 34.3% of the global art sales in 2010, with figures up 137% to $10.8bn on the previous year.

Watch this space for forthcoming auctions from the world's largest art market.


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