A Yongzheng period (1723 and 1735) hanging scroll painting by Giuseppe Castiglione featuring a double lotus is set to provide one of the highlights of Sotheby's Hong Kong 2012 autumn sale.
Italian Jesuit Castiglione was the Qing imperial court's official painter. His works seldom appear on the market, and as such we are anticipating a strong performance.
Another of his hanging scroll works produced for the imperial court sold for $195,740 at Sotheby's Hong Kong in April 2004.
We are expecting to see the October 5-9 series of sales to build upon what has been an impressive couple of years for the Chinese art scene.
China's share of global sales rose to 30% in 2011, up from 23% in 2010, a European Fine Art Foundation report recently revealed. In the process China overtook the US as the world's largest art market.
The Chinese art and antiques sector grew by 64% in 2011, the report states.
CEO of Sotheby's Asia, Kevin Ching, remarked: "We are also delighted to offer significant works of impeccable provenance by prominent Chinese artists across several generations - from Zhang Daqian to Sanyu and Zhang Xiaogang, among others."
$506.7m in sales. Compatriot Qi Baishi was second, with $445.1m.
In addition to Chinese art and ceramics, buyers will also be able to snap up traditional and contemporary works from across Asia, as well as wine, jewellery and watches during the five days of sales.
To keep up to speed on the world's art auctions, sign up to our free weekly newsletter.