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Francesco Guardi, Venice, a view of the Rialto Bridge, looking north (from The Fondamenta del carbon), $42.7 million, Sotheby's, July 6, 2011
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Art Market Watch


Aug. 11, 2011 

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Earlier this week, China’s Jing Daily reported that many of the country’s investors see art collecting as one of the last safe investment options amid increasing national inflation and global debt crises. This argument is supported by recent Christie’s and Sotheby’s half-year reports that the exploding Asian market is responsible for significant growth in the two firms’ sales totals. Christie’s Asia sales accounted for $482.5 million of the $3.2 billion total in the first half of 2011, an increase of 48 percent.

Herewith, a preview.

The global shift east of the art market is reflected in Artnet’s list of the top ten lots at auction in July 2011 as well. While three of the top five places are held by pictures that sold in the London Old Master auctions, an impressive five of the top ten lots are Chinese artists sold at Chinese auction houses, presumably to a domestic Chinese market.

So get used to these artists’ names: Ren Yi (1840-1896), Liu Haisu (1896-1994), Xu Wei (1521-1593), Huai Su (737-799) and Wu Changshuo (1844-1927). And these art auctioneers: XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd., which was founded in 2004 in Hangzhou in south China; the venerable Duo Yun Xuan Auctions Co. in Shanghai, founded in 1992 by an art gallery and art supply company of the same name that is a century old, and thus able to rely on its own inventory for material; and the Shanghai Dowmin Auctions.

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