Preview: The top lots at Phillips’ upcoming art, jewellery auctions

Phillips auction house will hold two auctions on 28 May: the “Warhol in China” photography auction at 6 pm and the “20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale” at 7pm.

Rolling right through the weekend, Phillips will host the “Exceptional Jewels and Jadeite” auction on 29 May at 2:30pm, and the “Hong Kong Watch Auction: Four” on 30 May at 1pm and 6pm. All auctions will be held at the Mandarin Oriental.

Altogether, Phillips will be bringing the hammer down on over 200 lots. Here are just a few of the highlights to watch out for.

Andy Warhol photography collection

Andy Warhol_Chinese Bellhop, 1982-1987

American artist Andy Warhol is well-known for his pop art paintings and drawings, but few knew he also took photos. A rare collection of 200 photographs that he snapped in China and Hong Kong during a 1982 trip will go under the hammer, with estimates starting at HK$80,000. According to Jonathan Crockett, deputy chairman of Phillips Asia, “These candid shots are dynamic, exciting and fun but also weighty in their historical importance, as Warhol was able to immortalise China during a transitional phase in the country’s history.”

Last Warrior / The Unknown Soldier by Yoshitomo Nara

Nara_Last Warrior

Valued at between HK$20 million and $30 million, this painting is the star lot of the contemporary art auction. The painting, considered to be Japanese Neo-Pop, depicts an ornery, doll-like girl on a monochrome backdrop. The image invites viewers to recall their youth and tap into their own defiant spirit.

Eating #4 by Zhang Enli

Zhang Enli

This oil on canvas painting is a masterful interpretation of human psychology. It is considered to be one of the best pieces from Enli’s Portrait series. Much of Enli’s work was inspired by German Expressionism, and he endeavoured to depict the inner struggles of ordinary people. The painting’s price estimate is HK$6 million – 8 million.

Miss Blanche chair by Shiro Kuramata

SHIRO KURAMATA, _Miss Blanche _ chair, designed in 1988

More than just furniture, this chair by Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata is a piece of art that is sure to spruce up any room. The transparent chair, designed in 1988, features artificial roses embedded in resin. Only 56 pieces were produced, and some can be viewed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco and M+ Museum in Hong Kong. Its price estimate is HK$2.2 million – 3 million.

Blessed Blossom ring

Blessed Blossom_A Rare and Very Fine 6.02-carat Burmese Pigeons Blood Ruby and Diamond Ring

This ring, featuring a so-called Burmese pigeon blood ruby, is valued up to HK$20 million. The stunning, oval-shaped ruby – weighing 6.02 carats – is encased in a flower made up of diamonds. The crimson ruby, hailing from the Mogok Valley in Myanmar, is astonishing in colour. Its quality and size are both rare and highly coveted.  

Secret Pink ring

Lot 641 pink3-1

There’s something about a pink diamond that’s just so irresistible. This ring boasts a 4.23-carat internally flawless, antique fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond. If that weren’t enough, there’s also a 1.39-carat fancy vivid pink diamond underneath the larger diamond. So really, you get two rare diamonds for the price of oneas long as you don’t mind forking over up to HK$55 million.

Patek Philippe Reference 3670 watch


This rare timepiece is one of several Patek Philippe models that will be up for grabs at the watch auction. This stainless steel model has an original 1950’s movement, and it’s one of the brand’s rarest serially produced modern watches. When it was first produced, it was designated an “application” watch, reserved for loyal VIP clients only. Its estimate is HK$4.5 million – 7 million.

Cartier watch


For ladies, this gem-encrusted “Tutti Frutti” watch is sure to be an attention-getter. Cartier first started using the Tutti Frutti design in 1901, embedding rubies, sapphires and emeralds into leaf designs and berry shapes. The Mughal-inspired design still remains en vogue to this day. Its estimate is HK$1.2 million – 1.6 million.

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Text: Emily Petsko

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