The number surpassed the pre-sale estimate of HK$600 but fell well below the HK$1.77 billion earned in last year’s comparable sale.
“The financial crisis is still with us, so many potential collectors took a wait-and-see attitude,” Michael Wang, an art collector and chief executive of Humble House Art Space, told Bloomberg.
Highlights of the sales, which ran April 4–8 and included 1,700 lots in a variety of categories, were the sold-out wine auction and the record set by modern master Lin Fengmian.
Hong Kong is Sotheby’s third-largest market after New York and London. Christie’s holds its Hong Kong sales next month.