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Masterful Images: Sotheby’s Construction Site Offers an Art History Experience on Your Way to Work.





Thousands of Hong Kongers use the CHATER Landmark Podium corridor as part of their daily walking commute in Central. While Sotheby’s works to transform its 24,000 sq. feet of space into its new “maison” (complete with auction galleries, a “Buy Now” platform and a café), it is offering passersby the chance to slow down and view strikingly well-reproduced images and explanatory text on construction boards, all organized in the style of a museum gallery.  


Are you a lover of music? You can learn about items in Sotheby’s auctions for Sir Elton John (20,000 items over four days), David Bowie (350 items from the venerable musician who was also an eclectic collector), and Freddie Mercury of Queen. Any fans of Jackie O? Don’t miss the info on the New York auction of her estate including a photo of a young John John on her lap playing with her pearls. Be sure to view the photos and notes on the Duchess of Windsor as well as the Hutton-Mdivani jadeite necklace, which traces its roots to the Qing Dynasty.  Are paintings more your interest? Among the artworks “on exhibit” is Zhang Da Q’s Pink Lotuses on Gold Screen, “only one of five he is known to have created.” 


Want to learn about Sotheby’s through the ages? (It dates its roots back to the mid-1700s and thesale of books.) There’s a timeline for that complete with a painted portrait of Sotheby’s founder Samuel Baker as well as his nephew John Sotheby. Among the highlights are a photographic retrospective of significant events in the auction house’s life in Asia and Hong Kong specifically. It’s fascinating to read about the introduction of telephone bidding—-think how far things have progressed since that “innovation.”  As you walk across the podium floor, note the charming and detailed pen and ink with watercolor illustrations of Sotheby’s locations around the world. The depiction of the NYC location is particularly good—you can almost feel the wind blowing the flags on a spring day in the city.


So if Chater House is part of your daily walk (or if you are nearby in Central) be sure to slow down and visit the gallery created by the Sotheby’s construction board graphics. 



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