XU Beihong's Magpies on Autumn Branches Achieved Over Four Times Estimate at Bonhams Hong Kong Chinese Paintings Sale

Fresh To The Market in 70 Years

Sale Total: HK$39million
Far Exceeding Pre-Sale High Estimate (HK$26million)
70% of Sold Lots realised above High Estimates

Stellar Performance for Single-Owner Collections

Six of the Collections are White-Glove

With Many Selling for Multiples of Estimates

The UCCL Collection of 20th Century Chinese Paintings: Over 90% Sold
Totalled HK$10,098,025, over three times the pre-sale estimate (HK$2,822,000)

Exquisite Folding Fans from the Collection of Xu Senyu: 100% Sold
Totalled HK$1,725,625, over 17 times the pre-sale estimate (HK$100,000)

The Collection of Kenzo Yoshida (1918-2015): 100% Sold
Totalled HK$686,375, over eight times the pre-sale estimate (HK$80,000)

A Very Important Asian Private Collection (Part II): 100% Sold
Totalled HK$1,039,375, over 14 times the pre-sale estimate (HK$70,000)

The Ferguson Collection of Six Fine Qi Baishi Paintings: 100% Sold
Totalled HK$4,403,750, over four times the pre-sale estimate (HK$1,010,000)

Pu Ru Works From Collection of Wang Wenshan: 100% Sold

Two Paintings Previously in the Collection of Mengbi: 100% Sold

A Private Collection: 87% Sold
Totalled HK$1,221,585, over three times the pre-sale estimate (HK$335,000)

Chinese Paintings – the Online Sale
65% of the Sold Lots realised above High Estimates


The top lot of the sale, Xu Beihong's Magpies on Autumn Branches, was offered fresh to the market from a collection formed 70 years ago. In 1946, four young artists – Zhang Qianying, Fei Chengwu, Zhang Anzhi, and Chen Xiaonan – were selected by their teacher Xu Beihong to leave the war-torn China to study abroad in the post-war London, where they were funded and looked after by the education trust: The Universities' China Committee in London (UCCL).

A group of eleven Chinese paintings – including the current top lot – were later presented by the students as a heartfelt gift to the Committee. All framed and carefully maintained, they show minimal physical deterioration and remained largely unknown in the UK and the world ever since.

Magpies on Autumn Branches sold for HK$8,455,625 – over four times the estimate – after a 10-minute bidding battle among 10 collectors.

Commenting on the sale, Iris Miao, Bonhams' Consulting Head of Chinese Paintings, said: "This is the first major Chinese paintings sale live in Hong Kong this year. We are delighted with the result, which shows clearly that global collectors are still responding positively – both online and offline – to fresh collections and quality works.'


Related auctions