He Haixia hanging scroll auctions for $74,500

A traditional hanging scroll by Chinese landscape painter He Haixia has sold for $74,500, leading Bonhams' June 25 sale of Asian decorative arts in San Fransisco.

The impressive sale price represents a 4867% increase on the piece's conservative $1,500 top estimate.

He Haixia hanging scroll
The He Haixia hanging scroll (pictured) was offered from the collection of Josephine Klein. A comparable work on paper by the late artist sold for $1,800 in September 2012, suggesting values pertaining to He Haixia’s works are on the rise

Employing traditional techniques, He Haixia, whose centenary in 2008 was marked with a retrospective at the National Art Museum of China, is considered a master contemporary landscape artist among Chinese critics.

A pair of 20th century, famille rose enamelled porcelain stick neck vases also put in a strong performance, making $74,500, while a carved lapis lazuli Buddha figurine sold for $52,500.

Jade items - ever popular at auction - excited competitive bids: a large, white jade landscape boulder sold for $50,000, and a 19th century jade belt hook brought $10,000.

The Asian collectibles market, labelled an "Oriental juggernaut" by Antique Collecting magazine, continues to grow.

It is predicted that by 2022, China will play host to 483 billionaires (a 214% increase on 154 in 2012). Duly, Asian art and antiques are considered hot property among collectors and investors alike.

Chinese agate boys
Rare? It remains largely unknown as to why these Chinese boys provoked a bidding war

In May 2013, a pair of unusual agate carvings - one depicting a boy holding a drum, the other a boy holding a puppy - sold with an 89,900% increase in the UK.

Commenting on the carvings' £180,000 ($270,707) sale price, London-based Asian art expert John Berwald told the Daily Mail newspaper: "It's a hell of a price…if two people want an item badly enough and are happy to pay whatever it takes, then you can get these hugely inflated prices."

"Vendors in this country," asserts Antique Collecting magazine, "receive pleasant shocks when artefacts that have lain unappreciated since great uncle George brought them back from a sojourn Out East suddenly become examples of things the Chinese avidly wish to reacquire."

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