Fugitive Billionaire Joseph Lau Will Auction Off Millions of Dollars in Art and Wine to Make Up for Stock Market Losses

Billionaire art collector Joseph Lau, who has been dwelling as a fugitive in Hong Kong following his conviction in 2014 for bribery and income laundering in Macau, is providing artworks and bottles of wine via Christie’s and Sotheby’s that could fetch tens of millions of bucks.

Sotheby’s Hong Kong is presenting eight pieces of Chinese imperial porcelain from the Ming and Qing dynasties in a sale titled “Gems of Imperial Porcelain From the Private Collection of Joseph Lau” that is expected to provide in as significantly as HK$151 million ($19 million) on April 29.

“The title Joseph Lau resonates with collectors all over the world and it is just one that stands for excellence,” Nicolas Chow, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, mentioned in a statement, including that Lau built “one of the finest collections of Chinese porcelain at any time.”

Christie’s, in the meantime, is organizing “Iconic Wines From Joseph Lau” for April 13, which is because of to include 89 loads with an believed full value in surplus of HK$24 million ($3 million), studies the Daily Beast.

“Every selected bottle is a testament to my thought, notice, and devotion to gathering only the most impeccable and rarest wines, and I seem forward to sharing my best-notch favorites with subtle palates throughout the world this April,” Lau mentioned in a statement.

Fugitive Billionaire Joseph Lau Will Auction Off Millions of Dollars in Art and Wine to Make Up for Stock Market Losses

A Ming dynasty yellow-floor and underglaze-blue ‘gardenia’ dish Mark and time period of Hongzhi from the selection of Joseph Lau becoming auctioned at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s Hong Kong.


The conclusion to mount the sales is determined by Lau’s new stock sector losses, in accordance to the South China Morning Publish. His spouse and children-managed organization, Chinese Estates Holdings, marketed far more than 630 million shares of China Evergrande previous year, shedding billions in the method.

However, Forbes estimates Lau’s present-day net worthy of to be $13.6 billion, putting him at number six on Hong Kong’s richest listing. Some $1 billion of that overall is reported to occur from Lau’s art collection, which involves operates by Andy Warhol, Paul Gauguin, and David Hockney.

Lau was convicted in absentia in Macua of bribery and funds laundering in 2014. But since the metropolis does not have an extradition settlement with Hong Kong, the place he lives, he never served his 5-12 months sentence.

Requested no matter whether the auction residence experienced any worries about Lau utilizing his proceeds from the sale illegally, a Christie’s agent informed Artnet News: “Christie’s is dedicated to complying with regulations and getting all fair actions to avoid our operations from becoming employed illegally. KYC (Know Your Consumer) is a important ingredient of our guidelines. This entails amassing, verifying and trying to keep documents of the identity of all clientele.”

Sotheby’s did not reply to inquiries from Artnet Information.


Rare Henri Jayer wine being auctioned at Christie's Asia Pacific from the collection of Joseph Lau. Photo courtesy of Christie's New York.

Rare Henri Jayer wine staying auctioned at Christie’s Asia Pacific from the selection of Joseph Lau. Photo courtesy of Christie’s New York.

Lau, who manufactured his fortune in serious estate, started off gathering in 1978, when he was just 27. His holdings assortment from antique furnishings and gemstones to paintings and sculptures.

In 2020, Lau parted techniques with Hockney’s California pool painting The Splash (1966) at Sotheby’s London. The consequence was underwhelming, with just two bids right before the perform went for £23.1 million ($30 million), a little bit over the confirmed £20 million ($26 million) very low estimate.

Product sales from his wine cellars have been additional profitable. In Oct 2020, a offered-out supplying went for HK$53 million ($6.8 million), above its high estimate. Part two of the sale adopted in April 2021, with another white-glove consequence totaling HK$52.6 million ($6.8 million).

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