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Auction Report

Underglaze copper-red vase, early Ming period, Hongwu (1368-98), 32.5 cm

Auctioneers Sotheby's and Christie's held their first post-handover Hong Kong sales in early November 1997. Chinese art under the hammer included classical, modern and contemporary paintings, works of art and ceramics. Patchy results were blamed on the recent Asian stock-market downturn and an increasingly discriminating public rather than on the change of regime in Hong Kong.

Ceramics are central to the Hong Kong auction market and their high prices in recent years reflect their status as investment commodities rather than as art. However…

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