Tuesday - 23 September 2014

Scroll sets record for Chinese work of art

14 June 2010Written by ATG Reporter

BEIJING auctioneers Poly established a new milestone for Chinese art on June 3 selling a 38ft (15m) long calligraphic hand scroll by a Song Dynasty master for RMB390m ($57.4m) plus 12 per cent buyer's premium.

The longest extant calligraphic hand scroll by Huang Tingjian (1045-1105) - generally regarded as the finest and most creative calligrapher of the Song Dynasty - boasts an unparalleled history and provenance.

Titled Di Zhu Ming and completed in 1095, it was extended from the original length of just over 20ft (8m) over a period of 800 years as subsequent owners - from Chinese literati to royal court officials - added additional inscriptions to the piece. The work also holds significant value for the study of Chinese history and literature, as it bears an eloquent essay on morality and justice by Tang dynasty statesman Wei Zheng.

Bidding for the scroll took close to 40 minutes with more than 70 individual bids taken in increments of RMB5m before it was knocked down to a telephone bidder. The price betters the previous record for a Chinese work of art, the £14m taken for a Yuan blue and white guan at Christie's in July 2005.

Poly - the largest auction house in mainland China - outshone all their rivals with a fifth anniversary five-sale series from June 1-5 comprising classical and modern calligraphy and paintings, ceramics and works of art and contemporary Chinese art.

The premium-inclusive total across the five days was RMB 3.3billion ($485.3m).

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ATG Reporter

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