The high-powered world of the London art auction houses has seen increasing numbers of buyers from japan in the past decade.
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Background: The high-powered world of the London art auction houses has seen increasing numbers of buyers from japan in the past decade.
Price seems no object for the Japanese buyers and their agents and their greatest interest seems to be in repatriating Japanese works of art which have left the country over the past countries.
Impressionist and modern paintings are fetching high prices from Japanese buyers -- often almost twice what experienced observers have expected would be bid. At first, the Japanese purchasers worked through London dealers.
But now, many are spending vast sums to go to the famous auction rooms, such as Christies and Sothebys to make their bids in person.
Observers say the japanese tend to buy 'pretty' and immediately appealing works. In March, an anonymous Japanese collector paid GBP157,000 (425 thousand dollars U.S. approx.) for a portrait by Renoir. In past months, Japanese buyers have purchased as many as half the works on display, at more than half the total purchase price.
Japanese works of art, such as rare alabaster jars and various porcelain pieces, have brought record prices in the past six months.
On Thursday, Japanese buyers and agents were previewing works that go on the black on Monday (April 9), consisting entirely of Japanese artworks -- fine swords, swords fittings, wood and ivory carvings.
Christies expect the Japanese to take away the largest share of the items offered and record prices were predicted.
SYNOPSIS: Christies -- the famous London auction house -- previewed a major scale of Japanese artworks on Thursday.
The most interested previewers were Japanese buyers and agents -- who have become a major force in the London art market. The Christies sale in largely Japanese swords, armour and porcelain.
Japanese buyers seem greatly interested in bringing Japanese art home and have been paying record prices for it. Three-quarters of all Japanese and Chinese art put on sale in London is bought by Far East buyers.
The Japanese purchasers used to work through London agents. But increasingly, they are going to London to make the bids themselves, often paying record prices.