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Chinese calligraphy fetches record USD 64 million

Last Updated: Saturday, June 5, 2010 - 13:57

Beijing: An antique calligraphy handscroll
by Song Dynasty master Huang Tingjian fetched a record price
of 436.8 million yuan (USD 64 million) at an auction.

The calligraphy handscroll by Huang, regarded as one
China`s finest and most creative calligraphers, sold out after
40 minutes of bidding at Poly International`s Spring Auction.
The masterpiece, titled Di Zhu Ming, features a
calligraphic representation of an epigraph originally composed
by Wei Zheng, a famous Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) chancellor
The handscroll is considered to demonstrate the creativity of
Huang`s penmanship and his moral principle.

The item is also adorned with Huang`s portrait and
valuable inscriptions of several dynasties ranging from Song
to Qing, stretching the calligraphy work to 15 meters in
total, the China Daily reported today.

The piece was considered a counterfeit during the
reign of Qing Emperor Qianlong (1736-1799) because of its
differences from Huang`s other works in content and style.

A Taiwan calligraphy researcher recently appraised it
as a rare masterpiece of Huang that exemplifies a
transformation in style into his later years. It was kept at a
Japanese private museum for decades before it was bought back
by a collector from Taiwan.

The previous record price for a Chinese work of art
was set by a Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) blue-and-white ceramic,
which was sold for about 230 million yuan at a Christie`s
London auction in 2005.

Sales of works of art were going up in China with the
rapid expansion of private sector and middle classes.

China`s GDP is expected to touch 10 per cent this year
after recovering from last year`s down turn.

Last month, a painting by Zhang Daqian, China`s best
known and most prodigious artists of the 20th century sold for
a hefty USD 14.76 million at China`s Guardian Spring Auction., a French art market information
provider, mentioned in its Market Trends in 2009 report that
China has emerged as the world`s No 3 marketplace for fine art
sales next to the US and the UK with its auction revenue
expanding by a substantial 25 per cent last year.


First Published: Saturday, June 5, 2010 - 13:57
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