Coronavirus: more Asian art sales shelved as Bonhams and Sotheby’s postpone auctions

An advertisement for last year’s 'Asia Week New York'.

Bonhams and Sotheby’s have joined Christie’s in postponing their March New York Asian art auctions due to the spread of coronavirus.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Laura Chesters

An advertisement for last year’s ‘Asia Week New York’.

However, organisers say that Asia Week New York (AWNY) dealer exhibitions will go ahead as scheduled from March 12-19.

Moved to June

Like Christie’s (which announced plans to halt its sale series earlier this month), Sotheby’s and Bonhams will shelve the bulk of New York Asian auctions until June.

Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary South Asian art auction will remain as scheduled on March 16 (Christie’s has a similar sale on March 18 that also still stands). However, the other sales will move to the week commencing June 22.

Sotheby’s said it has no current plans to reschedule its Hong Kong sales in April.

Bonhams’ Asian art auctions in New York will also be postponed until June 22, although highlights from these sales will be on view from March 12-19, during the scheduled Asia Week events.

Bonhams has also decided to reschedule its March sales in Hong Kong.

In a statement Bonhams said it “regrets any inconvenience, but having assessed the global situation, we want to ensure the optimal conditions for clients”.

Dealers to go ahead

AWNY will feature 37 gallery exhibitions and 17 talks.

Katherine Martin, chairman of AWNY, added: “Due to the tragic coronavirus outbreak and the effect it’s had on so many people, we understand the difficult decision that the auction houses had to make to respectfully accommodate their buyers.

“Our dealers will still present their exhibitions, which are free and open to the public, and maintain their schedule of gallery talks and receptions throughout the week.”

The outbreak and spread of the Covid 19 virus has forced a number of fairs to cancel. Earlier this month Art Basel Hong Kong announced its March 2020 fair will be cancelled.

Auction house HotLotz Singapore has also postponed an auction of Asian art.