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Chinese Art Market Woes – Just how secure is this bubble?

"Bah!" said Scrooge, "Humbug!"
- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

We had hoped that we’d heard the last about the Qianlong Vase for a while, with news from Bainbridge’s that the account was due to be settled.

Now this artinfo article suggests that not only are things not settled with Da Vase, but that this is not a unique problem, and that the Chinese Art Market, seemingly a very lucrative one with some sky’s-the-limit buyers, may have some deep seeded problems, including schills just in it to make political statements.

In response, our good friends at Sotheby’s are set to start demanding deposits from buyers interested in high-ticketed items.  Talk about taking all the sport out of it…!  Evidently the buyers felt the same way; last week’s Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction, which required very large deposits, brought disappointing results.

Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment, said "Bah!" again; and followed it up with "Humbug."