One bidder spent more than $146 million this year and dropped a boatload of cash at the Christie's Hong Kong art auction on Monday, pushing prices higher and smashing records. Wang Wei, with her husband, investor Liu Yiqian, ranks 176th among the wealthiest in China, with a net worth of $740 million ... and she wouldn't say how much she's spent on art this year.
Wang waved Paddle 960 aggressively on Monday, sometimes tossing bids up HK$1 million at a time to distance herself from competitors for particular pieces. A few times, she didn't bother lowering her paddle, instead just holding it up until her rivals quit.
At Sotheby's Hong Kong in October, Wang's husband shelled out $11 million for a Qing Dynasty imperial throne, complete with carved dragons, setting a record. And, this month, he payd $25 million for a Ming Dynasty scroll by Wu Bin at Beijing's Poly auction -- it was the most paid for a Chinese painting.
At Monday's Christie's sale, HK$126.7 million in art sold, and the house wouldn't reveal how much of it went to Wang. Speaking for herself, the collector reveals why she made the purchases she did. According to Bloomberg News: "I just bought those for fun."
[Photo courtesy of Christie's]