Here Are the 15 Most Expensive Artworks Sold at Auction Around the World in August 2022

We combed through the data to bring you the priciest lots of August 2022.

The scene at Sotheby's first Singapore-based sale in 15 years. Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Historically, August has been just about the only month of the year when the big auction houses don’t have a marquee sale. Not anymore, though: The big story last month was Sotheby’s first live sale in Singapore in 15 years, which generated a total of SG$24.5 million ($18 million).

In a statement, Sotheby’s Jasmine Prasetio, managing director of the house’s Southeast Asia arm, said the result “surpassed our expectations and underlines the potential for Singapore and the Southeast Asia region as a whole.”

The top lot at that sale, which took place on August 23, was Russian-German artist Walter Spies’s 1928 oil painting Tierfabel (Animal fable)—one of only 20 works by the artist to appear at auction—which fetched SG$4 million ($2.9 million). A new world record for Singaporean artist Georgette Chen was set for Boats and shophouses, representing the highest price for a pioneer of the modern Nanyang art movement, according to the auction house.

Although the Singapore sale was the main event last month, the majority of top lots in August were sold at auction houses in mainland China, with a smattering in Seoul, South Korea. See the list of the top 15 most expensive works sold at auction in August 2022 below.

1. Fu Baoshi, Shushan Seeks Victory

Fu Baoshi, Shushan Seeks Victory. Courtesy of Guangdong Chongzheng Auction Co., Ltd.

Estimate: RMB 15 million to RMB 20 million ($2.2 million to $2.9 million)

Final Price: RMB 25.3 million ($3.8 million)

Where & When: Guangdong Chongzheng Auction Co., Ltd, August 11, 2022

 

2. Emperor Qianlong, A Royal Pen Imitating Zhao Mengfu’s Cursive Writing on a Mandarin Duck

Emperor Qianlong, A Royal Pen Imitating Zhao Mengfu’s Cursive Writing on a Mandarin Duck. Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Estimate: RMB 10 million to RMB 15 million ($1.5 million to $2.2 million)

Final Price: RMB 20.2 million ($3 million)

Where & When: XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd., August 20, 2022

 

3. Walter Spies, Tierfabel (Animal Fable) 動物寓言 (1928)

Walter Spies, <i>Tierfabel (Animal fable) 動物寓言 </i>(1928). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Walter Spies, Tierfabel (Animal Fable) 動物寓言 (1928). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: Undisclosed

Final Price: SG$4 million ($3 million)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Singapore, August 28, 2022

 

4. Fu Shan, Huayan Jing and Tang Poems

Fu Shan, Huayan Jing and Tang Poems. Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Estimate: RMB 10 million to RMB 15 million ($1.5 million to $2.2 million)

Final Price: RMB 18.9 million ($2.8 million)

Where & When: XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd., August 20, 2022

 

5. Wen Zhengming, Water Pavilion 

Wen Zhengming, Water Pavilion. Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Estimate: RMB 6 million to RMB 10 million ($880,000 to $1.5 million)

Final Price: RMB 14.9 million ($2.2 million)

Where & When: XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd., August 20, 2022

 

6. Chu Teh-Chun, No. 282 (1968)

Chu Teh-Chun, No. 282 (1968). Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Estimate: RMB 8 million to RMB 12 million ($1.2 million to $1.7 million)

Final Price: RMB 13.8 million ($2 million)

Where & When: XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd., August 20, 2022

 

7. Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkin (2004)

Yayoi Kusama, <i>Pumpkin</i> (2004). Courtesy of Seoul Auctions.

Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkin (2004). Courtesy of Seoul Auctions.

Estimate: ₩1.9 billion to ₩3 billion ($1.5 million to $2.3 million)

Final Price: ₩2.2 billion ($1.6 million)

Where & When: Seoul Auction, South Korea, August 23, 2022

 

8. Willem Gerard Hofker, Melis, Composition Featuring Ni Dablig With Ni Gemblong With a Boy Behind the Gender Music Instrument (1939)

Willem Gerard Hofker, <i>Melis, composition featuring Ni Dablig with Ni Gemblong with a boy behind the gender music instrument</i> (1939). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Willem Gerard Hofker, Melis, Composition Featuring Ni Dablig With Ni Gemblong With a Boy Behind the Gender Music Instrument (1939). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: SG$700,000 to SG$1.2 million ($502,000 to $860,000)

Final Price: SG$2.3 million ($1.6 million)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Singapore, August 28, 2022

 

9. Georgette Chen, Boats and Shophouses (ca. 1963–65)

Georgette Chen, <i>Boats and shophouses</i> (ca. 1963–65). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Georgette Chen, Boats and Shophouses (ca. 1963–65). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: Undisclosed

Final Price: SG$2 million ($1.4 million)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Singapore, August 28, 2022

 

10. Zheng Min, A Rare and Fine-Pen Landscape, a Picture of Diaotai in Ziling

Zheng Min, A Rare and Fine-Pen Landscape, a Picture of Diaotai in Ziling. Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Estimate: RMB 1.2 million to RMB 2.2 million ($176,000 to $323,000)

Final Price: RMB 9.1 million ($1.3 million)

Where & When: XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd., August 20, 2022

 

11. Zao Wou-Ki, 20.2.76 (1976)

Zao Wou-Ki, <i>20.2.76 </i>(1976). Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Zao Wou-Ki, 20.2.76 (1976). Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Estimate: RMB 6 million to RMB 8 million ($880,000 to $1.2 million)

Final Price: RMB 8.6 million ($1.3 million)

Where & When: XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd., August 20, 2022

 

12. Chen Chun, The Only Long Scroll in Regular Script in the Market, and a Painting of Yunshan, Made in the Year of his Death 

Chen Chun, The Only Long Scroll in Regular Script in the Market, and a Painting of Yunshan, Made in the Year of his Death. Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Estimate: RMB 3 million to RMB 5 million ($440,000 to $734,000)

Final Price: RMB 8.4 million ($1.2 million)

Where & When: XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd., August 20, 2022

 

13. Hendra Gunawan, Fish Market on the Beach (1980)

Hendra Gunawan,<i> Fish market on the beach </i>(1980). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Hendra Gunawan, Fish market on the beach (1980). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Estimate: SG$950,000 to SG$1.2 million ($682,000 to $861,000)

Final Price: SG$1.6 million ($1.2 million)

Where & When: Sotheby’s Singapore, August 28, 2022

 

14. Pan Tianshou, Double Bird Perched on Stone

Pan Tianshou, Double Bird Perched on Stone. Courtesy of Guangdong Chongzheng Auction Co., Ltd.

Estimate: RMB 5 million to RMB 7 million ($741,000 $1 million)

Final Price: RMB 7.4 million ($1.1 million)

Where & When: Guangdong Chongzheng Auction Co., Ltd., August 11, 2022

 

15. Arthur Streeton, Evening Light (Venice) (1908)

Arthur Streeton,<i> Evening Light (Venice)</i> (1908). Courtesy of Smith & Singer.

Arthur Streeton, Evening Light (Venice) (1908). Courtesy of Smith & Singer.

Estimate: AUD 500,000 to AUD 700,000 ($346,000 to $484,000)

Final Price: AUD 1.5 million ($1.1 million)

Where & When Smith & Singer, Australia, August 24, 2022


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