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Chinese buyers overwhelm Asian art sales in London

SothAs the number of Chinese art buyers heading to Britain mushrooms, London auction houses have added about 16 million pounds worth of Asian artwork to their bidding lists.

Gallery shows and sales have attracted Chinese collectors, with the main focus on a jade Imperial seal that went for 3.6m pounds, which is over six times what was expected.

Nicholas Chow, the internal head of Chinese ceramics at Sotheby’s said that the last few seasons of sales have seen in influx in Chinese collectors. These collectors seem to be only interested in items that are of top quality

Dealers have seen that Chinese businessman and women, who are newly wealthy, are most likely to chase high value objects that represent their heritage, in particular those that are from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Even though mainland collectors need to receive a formal invitation in order to travel to the UK for an art exhibition, the 12th annual Asian Art in London showing attracted more Chinese collectors than previous years.

As the demand for these items continues to rise, Christie’s International and Sotheby’s invite about 210 collectors each.

Outside of auction houses, around 40 different commercial galleries throughout London are offering artwork and antique objects for sale that are from all parts of Asia, from Japan to the Middle East. Out of this week’s offerings many are originally from China.

Christie’s stated that in their last auction 90% of the most expensive items in the catalogue were purchased by Asian buyers.

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