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Christie's In China: Auction House Gets License To Hold Sales In Shanghai

Christies In China

By KELVIN CHAN   04/09/13 07:13 AM ET EDT  AP

HONG KONG -- Christie's said Tuesday it will be the first international auction house to operate without a local partner in mainland China, one of the world's biggest art markets.

The company said that it won a license to hold auctions in Shanghai beginning this fall.

Christie's and other auction houses have been reaping big profits from twice-yearly sales in Hong Kong, a former British colony that's now a special administrative region of China. Wealthy mainland Chinese collectors are a regular fixture at the sales and their purchases of art, jewelry, wine and other collectables have helped turn the city into one of the world's biggest auction centers.

But the foreign auction houses are eager to break into the mainland Chinese market so they can better target buyers.

CEO Steven Murphy said in a statement that the license means Christie's will be "able to directly conduct auctions in China under its own brand, and will offer collectors a more direct access to our global network and expertise,".

"Now Christie's will be able to engage with our clients in Shanghai in the same way that we have done over many years in London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong," he added.

Christie's announcement outdoes its rival Sotheby's, which last year set up a Chinese joint venture with local state-owned company Beijing GeHua Art Co.

Chinese auction houses have also stepped up the battle for the Asian art market by expanding out of the mainland. Beijing Poly International and China Guardian, the country's two biggest auction houses, held sales in Hong Kong for the first time last fall, going head-to-head with Christie's, Sotheby's and smaller houses from around the world.

China became the world's biggest art market in 2011 but slipped back behind the United States to second place last year with total sales of 10.6 billion euros ($13.8 billion) as the economy cooled, according to an annual report by The European Annual Fine Art Foundation.

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Online: http://www.christies.com/

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  • Wassily Kandinsky's "Study for Improvisation 8" - $23 million

    ARTIST: Russian abstract painter, Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) ARTWORK: Oil painting of religious pilgrims in Kiev painted in 1909. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/wassily-kandinsky-studie-fur-improvisation-8-5615597-details.aspx">Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Sale</a> (November 2012) PRICE: $23,042,500 For more on the Kandinsky painting, check out our <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/oil-painting-by-russian-a_n_1840215.html">original article here</a>.

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Untitled" - $26.4 million

    ARTIST: New York-bred graffiti-turned-gallery painter, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988). ARTWORK: A large, colorful acrylic and oil stick on canvas work depicting a skeletal fisherman yielding his loot, created in 1981. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=5621952">Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale</a> (November 2012) PRICE: $26,402,500 for more on Basquiat's painting, check out our <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/jean-michel-basquiat-pois_n_1896428.html">original article here</a>.

  • Francis Bacon's "Untitled (Pope)" - $29.8 million

    ARTIST: British figurative painter, Francis Bacon (1909-1992). ARTWORK: One of Bacon's "Pope" paintings, which depict the Bishop of Rome sitting atop his papal throne with his mouth agape, seemingly writhing in a fit of terror. Created circa 1954. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/contemporary-art-evening-auction-n08900/lot.26.html">Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale</a> (November 2012) PRICE: $29,762,500 For more on Bacon's "Pope" check out our <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/28/francis-bacons-acclaimed-_n_1923279.html">original article here</a>.

  • Henry Moore's "Reclining Figure: Festival" - $30.1 million

    ARTIST: British sculptor, Henry Moore (1898-1986). ARTWORK: A 6-foot-long bronze sculpture depicting a laid-back female figure resting on one elbow, created in 1951. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.christies.com/in-the-saleroom-henry-moore-reclining-figure-festi-2114-3.aspx">Christie's Impressionist / Modern Art Evening Sale</a> (February 2012) PRICE: £19,081,250 (approximately $30.1 million) IMAGE: A gallery assistant at Christie's auction house admires a sculpture by Henry Moore entitled 'Reclining Figure: Festival' on February 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • Jeff Koons' "Tulips" - $33.7 million

    ARTIST: American neo-pop artist and "Balloon Dog" extraordinaire, Jeff Koons (1955-present). ARTWORK: A large-scale, mirror-polished stainless steel sculpture with transparent color coating created between 1995 and 2004. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/sculptures-statues-figures/jeff-koons-tulips-5621948-details.aspx?intObjectID=5621948">Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale</a> (November 2012) PRICE: $33,682,500

  • Gerhard Richter's "Abstraktes Bild" - $34.2 million

    ARTIST: Abstract and photorealist painter Gerhard Richter (1932-present). ARTWORK: A squeegee painting created in 1994 and owned by famous British musician, Eric Clapton. It was bought by Clapton for £2million ($3.2 million) in 2001 and sold for 10 times the price tag 11 years later. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/contemporary-art-evening-auction-l12024/lot.15.lotnum.html">Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale</a> (October 2012) PRICE: £21,321,250 (approximately $34.2 million) For more on Eric Clapton's big sale, check out our <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/15/eric-clapton-sells-gerhar_n_1966518.html">original article here</a>. IMAGE: A Sotheby's employee stands in front of Gerhard Richter's 'Abstraktes Bild (809-)' painting on October 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • John Constable's "The Lock" - $35.2 million

    ARTIST: British Romantic artist, John Constable (1776-1837). ARTWORK: The fifth in a celebrated series of six large-scale paintings of the Stour Valley in Suffolk. AUCTION: Old Master and British Paintings Evening Sale PRICE: $35,210,321 IMAGE: Employees pose with a painting by British Romantic artist John Constable entitled "The Lock" at Christie's auction house in central London on June 12, 2012. (CARL COURT/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Jackson Pollock's "Number 4, 1951" - $36 million

    ARTIST: Abstract expressionist painter, Jackson Pollock (1912-1956). ARTWORK: A rare drip painting on canvas created in 1951. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2012/contemporary-art-evening-auction-n08900/overview.html">Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale </a>(November 2012) PRICE: $40,402,500 Image: Sotheby's employees hold Jackson Pollock's 'Number 4, 1951' on October 8, 2012 in London, England. Estimated at $25-35 million the work forms part of Sotheby's Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art sale on November 5, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Yves Klein's "The Pink of Blue" - $36.8 million

    ARTIST: French post-war artist, Yves Klein, who is well-known for his devotion to the color blue (1928-1962). ARTWORK: Natural sponges and pebbles soaked in pigment and scattered on a board. Named "The Pink of Blue", the sponge-relief is similar to Klein's other works created in International Klein Blue. It was finished in 1960. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/yves-klein-le-rose-du-bleu-5584448-details.aspx">Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale </a>(June 2012) PRICE: $36,779,111

  • Joan Miro's "Peinture (Etolie Bleue), 1927" - $36.9 million

    ARTIST: Spanish Cattelan artist, Joan Miro (1893-1993). ARTWORK: Oil on cavas work depicting Miro's typical Surrealist imagery created in 1927. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.sothebys.com/en/catalogues/ecatalogue.html/2012/impressionist-modern-art-evening-sale-l12006#/r=/en/ecat.fhtml.L12006.html+r.m=/en/ecat.lot.L12006.html/10/">Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale</a> (June 2012) PRICE: $36,946,396 IMAGE: Gallery assistants pose with Spanish Catalan artist Joan Miro's 'Peinture (Etolie Bleue), 1927' at Sotheby's acution house in central London on June 14, 2012. (LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Andy Warhol's "Double Elvis" - $37 million

    ARTIST: Pop art king, Andy Warhol (1928-1987) ARTWORK: A silver silkscreen image of Elvis Presley depicted as a cowboy. The work, created in 1963, is named for the duplicate screening of Elvis that appears to the left of the central figure. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.sothebys.com/en/catalogues/ecatalogue.html/2012/contemporary-art-evening-n08853#/r=/en/ecat.fhtml.N08853.html+r.m=/en/ecat.lot.N08853.html/27/">Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale</a> (May 2012) PRICE: $37,042,500 For more on Warhol's "Double Elvis," check out the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/warhol-elvis-fetches-37m-_n_1506141.html">original AP story here</a>. IMAGE: This undated file image provided by Sotheby's Auction House shows Andy Warhol's portrait of Elvis Presley depicted as a cowboy. The painting, with a silver background, “Double Elvis [Ferus Type]” sold at auction by Sotheby’s in New York for $37 million on May 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Sotheby's Auction House, File)

  • Franz Kline's "Untitled" - $40.4 million

    ARTIST: Abstract expressionist and contemporary of Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline (1910-1962). ARTWORK: The untitled piece belongs to the series of black and white abstractions for which Kline is known, combining aggressive brushstrokes with simple forms reminiscent of Japanese calligraphy. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/franz-kline-untitled-5621927-details.aspx">Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale</a> (November 2012) PRICE: $40,402,500 For more on Kline's calligraphic work, check out our <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/26/franz-klines-untitled-abs_n_2023830.html">original article here</a>.

  • Andy Warhol's "Statue of Liberty" - $43.7 million

    ARTIST: Andy Warhol, again. ARTWORK: This time it's a screen print of the State of Liberty, created in 1962. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/andy-warhol-statue-of-liberty-5621945-details.aspx?intObjectID=5621945">Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale</a> (November 2012) PRICE: $43,762,500

  • Claude Monet's "Water Lillies" - $43.8 million

    ARTIST: French Impressionist painter, Claude Monet (1840-1926). ARTWORK: A work from Monet's "Water Lilies" series, depicting a pond in Giverny, France. Created in 1905. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/claude-monet-nympheas-5615591-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5615591&sid=4fab7ff1-5ea5-4100-830c-27f4c613b81a">Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale</a> (November 2012) PRICE: $43,762,500 To read more about Monet's "Water Lilies", check out the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/09/work-from-monets-water-li_n_2101182.html#slide=1741505">original AP article here</a>.

  • Francis Bacon's "Figure Reflected in a Mirror" - $44.9 million

    ARTIST: Francis Bacon, again. ARTWORK: Oil on canvas work created in 1976. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.sothebys.com/en/catalogues/ecatalogue.html/2012/contemporary-art-evening-n08853#/r=/en/ecat.fhtml.N08853.html+r.m=/en/ecat.lot.N08853.html/19/">Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale</a> (May 2012) PRICE: $44,882,500

  • Roy Lichtenstein "Sleeping Girl" - $44.9 million

    ARTIST: Famous American pop artist and major Ben-Day dot fan, (1923-1997) ARTWORK: Part of a series of sexy comic book-inspired images Lichtenstein created in 1964. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/contemporary-art-evening-n08853/lot.16.lotnum.html">Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale</a> (May 2012) PRICE: $44,882,500 IMAGE: This undated file photo provided by Sotheby's Auction House in New York shows "Sleeping Girl" by artist Roy Lichtenstein. The painting sold for $44.8 million by Sotheby's on Wednesday May 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Sotheby's, File)

  • Raphael's "Head of a Young Apostle" - $47.8 million

    ARTIST: Renaissance painter, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known as Raphael (1483-1520). ARTWORK: A drawing titled "Head of a Young Apostle" that depicts one of the primary figures from Raphael's "Transfigurations." Created circa 1519-1520. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/old-master-british-paintings-evening-l12036/lot.52.lotnum.html">Sotheby's Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale</a> (December 2012) PRICE: Approximately $47,690,717

  • Mark Rothko's "No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue)" - $75.1 million

    ARTIST: Russian-American abstract painter, and lover of all things color-blocked, Mark Rothko. ARTWORK: A multi-form oil painting reminiscent of most of Rothko's later work. Created in 1954. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/contemporary-art-evening-auction-n08900/lot.19.lotnum.html">Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale</a> (November 2012) PRICE: $75,122,500

  • Mark Rothko's "Orange, Red, Yellow" - $87 million

    ARTIST: Marky Mark, again. ARTWORK: Another multi-form, of course. This one was created in 1961. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/mark-rothko-orange-red-yellow-5559196-details.aspx">Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale</a> (May 2012) PRICE: $86,882,500 IMAGE: In this undated file photo provided by Christie's Auction House, "Orange, Red, Yellow," a 1956 painting by Mark Rothko is shown. The painting was sold by Christie's in New York for $388.5 million on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Sotheby's Auction Housse, File)

  • The Scream - $119.9 million

    ARTIST: Edvard Munch, the Norwegian painter and printmaker known for his treatment of dark, psychological motifs (1863-1944). ARTWORK: This version of the iconic piece, "The Scream," is not a painting but is pastel on board. It was created in 1895. AUCTION: <a href="http://www.sothebys.com/en/sales-series/2012/impressionist-modern-art-evening-sale/overview.html">Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale</a> (May 2012) PRICE: $119,922,500, making this version of "The Scream" <em>the</em> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/12/the-scream-mystery-buyer_n_1668170.html"><em>most expensive</em> piece of art ever sold at auction</a>. IMAGE: In this undated photo provided by Sotheby’s Auction House in New York, “The Scream,” by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch is shown. The 1895 pastel on board, arguably one of the art world's most recognizable images, will go on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York beginning Oct. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Sotheby’s Auction House)

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