Zao Wou-ki’s Diptyque Fetched RMB 33.6m at Christie’s Shanghai Evening Sale

Christie’s 20th Century & Contemporary Art (Evening Sale) recorded a satisfactory sell-through rate of 85%. The most expensive lot is, as anticipated, Zao Wou-ki’s 24.12.2002 – Diptyque, fetching RMB 33,600,000 (US$5,079,595) with buyer’s premium. The second and third top lot go to Dali’s sculpture and Zhan Jianjun's oil on canvas.

The winning lot, 24.12.2002 – Diptyque, was done by Zao Wou-ki in his late years. The subtle layers of colour on the painting produce rich visual effects that one senses the presence of a gentle and rhythmical power. Streaks of turquoise blue above and light fuchsia below combine with larger areas of warm brown to form the background. The lot is estimated at RMB 12,000,000 - 22,000,000 and hammered down at RMB 28,000,000. It was sold for RMB 33,600,000  (US$5,079,595) with buyer’s premium.

Taking up the second spot is Salvador Dali’s Eléphant du Triomphe. This piece is in typical Dali’s style with his signature elephant, a recurring image that often seen in Dali’s works. Dali’s elephants are often depicted atop spider-like legs to emphasize the contrast between robustness and fragility. This lot is estimated at RMB 2,800,000 - 4,000,000 and hammered down at RMB 11,000,000. It fetched RMB 13,200,000 (US$1,995,555), far exceeding its estimate.

The third top lot goes to Zhan Jianjun’s Fernes Land, estimated at  RMB 2,600,000 - 3,600,000. Zhan was widely acclaimed for his oil paintings and bestowed a lifetime achievement award in the 2nd Chinese Art Award. This painting was hammered down at RMB 3,000,000 and sold for RMB 3,600,000 (US$544,242) with buyer’s premium.


Top Lots

ZAO WOU-KI (ZHAO WUJI, FRANCE/CHINA, 1920-2013) 24.12.2002 – Diptyque

Lot no.: 206
Created in: 2002
Size: 195 x 260 cm
Provenance: Private Collection, Europe
(acquired directly from the artist by the present owner)
Estimate: RMB 12,000,000 - 22,000,000
Hammer price: RMB 28,000,000
Price realized: RMB 33,600,000

SALVADOR DALÍ (SPANISH, 1904-1989) Eléphant du triomphe

Lot no.: 215
Height: 265 cm

  • Fundació Gala Salvador Dalí, Figueres
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2007

Estimate: RMB 2,800,000 - 4,000,000
Hammer price: RMB 11,000,000
Price realized: RMB 13,200,000

ZHAN JIANJUN (CHINA, B. 1931). Fernes Land.

Lot no.: 225
Created in: 1987
Size: 162 x 131cm

  • Private Collection of Juergen Ludwig and Marei Fischer
  • Private Collection of Juergen Ludwig and Marei Fischer

Estimate: RMB 2,600,000 - 3,600,000
Hammer price: RMB 3,000,000
Price realized: RMB 3,600,000


Auction summary

Auction house: Christie’s Shanghai
Sale: 20th Century & Contemporary Art (Evening Sale)
Sale no.: 14818
Auction date: 2017/9/24
Sale total: RMB 83,148,000
No. of lots: 35
Sold: 30
Unsold: 5
Average price per lot: RMB 2,771,600
Sell-through rate: 85%

(All prices realized have included buyer’s premium unless otherwise specified)