Mainland China's auction market is again on the rise after the serious market correction that was 2012.
That is according to figures from the country's leading auction house, China Guardian, which specialises in Chinese fine art, coins, stamps and manuscripts.
The company posted a 23.6% rise in value during its spring auctions when compared with the corresponding period last year. While it has not yet returned to the levels seen in 2011, it is not far off 2010's figures, China Economic Net reports.
The improved showing was supplied, in part, by some stunning painting and calligraphy results: Zhang Daqian's Lady Red Whisk made $11.7m while Wu Zuoren's The Yellow Blooms on the Battlefield Smell Sweeter achieved $13.2m - a record for the artist.
The results are not just good news for China Guardian, but for its competitors too.
The general manager of Tenwin International Auction, Ji Tao, told China Economic Net that China Guardian's improved showing could provide a boost for the entire mainland China auction scene.
He states that the positive results could offer momentum for autumn's sales, with more sellers coming forward to offer top lots thanks to a new found confidence in the market.
A key factor behind the resurgence is thought to be an influx of new buyers into the market, perhaps tempted into the security offered by tangible assets such as art by the continuing volatility of the stock markets.
Many of these buyers are looking towards the second tiers of the art sector, indicating that it is not just those with considerable wealth who are considering this area for their portfolios.
The US regained the title of the world's most valuable art market in 2012, with 33% of the sector, according to the European Fine Art Foundation. China slipped back down to second with a 25% share, following its rise to top spot in 2011. Art sales in China declined by 24% last year.
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