Rare blue diamond sets new record at Sotheby’s auction

Hong Kong, April 6 (IANS) A rare blue diamond bucked the recent downturn in the auction market when it was sold for $30.8 million at Sotheby’s, setting a new record.

The “De Beers Millennium Jewel 4”, a 10.10-carat oval-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond, fetched more money than any other jewel at an auction in Asia ever, Efe news agency cited the auction house as saying.

The gem was sold to an anonymous bidder over phone, reported the South China Morning Post newspaper on Wednesday.

Chinese artist Zhang Daqian’s ‘Peach Blossom Spring’, an ink-and-colour hanging scroll, also set a record of its own when it was sold for a record $34.7 million, far surpassing its estimated sale price of $8.3 million.

The artwork was sold to Shanghai’s Long Museum after a frenzied bidding process which saw more than 100 bids in 50 minutes.

The sales subverted expectations for the auction market, which has been affected by the slowdown in China’s economy.

Kevin Ching, chief executive of Sotheby’s Asia, said the results prove “the general economy isn’t a predictor of the art market”.

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