Chinese calligraphy fetches record USD 64 million
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Last Updated: Saturday, June 05, 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 05, 2010, 13:57

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