Sunday 8 January 2012

Emperor Huizong's calligraphy sold for 140mln RMB

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A calligraphy work by Song dynasty emperor Huizong has been sold for a staggering 140 million yuan --that's around 20 million US dollars. The 1000 year-old piece went under the hammer at an auction in Shenzhen on Monday. Bidding opened at 60 million yuan, and soon doubled to 120 million. Competition between two buyers forced the price even higher, to a bank-breaking 140 million. The work of a thousand characters was created by Huizong in the year 1104, and remains in good condition. The emperor was the founding father of "Slender Gold" - a calligraphy style which has gradually involved into the "Immitating Song Style" - a major school in Chinese calligraphy. The work spans 25 pages, and features inscriptions by celebrities over the centuries. "Source"

THE Shanghai Museum has questioned the authenticity of a calligraphy work sold for 140 million yuan (US$22.1 million) in south China's city of Guangzhou last month.The museum claims the original by Emperor Song Huizong (1082-1135) is in its own collection."I'd never heard that two identical pieces by Emperor Huizong existed anywhere," said Shan Guolin, director of the museum's calligraphy department.But Liu Molin, director at Guangzhou-based auction House, Zhonghan Qinghua Auction House dismissed this."Shanghai Museum has a scroll, and the other is an album. These are two different forms."Source:Shanghai Daily"


Andrew West said...

I have to agree with the Shanghai Museum about the authenticity of the piece. Chinese auction houses sell so much stuff that is "too good to be true" nowadays, and they never seem to provide a provenance for anything. Where has this priceless album been hiding for the last thousand years? How did it survive the turmoils of the last hundred years to suddenly appear from nowhere in Shenzhen? The auction houses don't ask any questions about where the stuff they sell comes from, and the buyers are too rich and too ignorant to care whether they are buying the real thing or not, so everyone is happy -- but it is a fool's paradise.

Hans van Roon said...

It's funny that you bring this on as I was wondering as well how such an important and big item of one of the better known emperors of China could have gone into private hands and being sold for nearly 20 mln. US €.
If you watch the most recent art auctions of last year, the economy is stabilizing as well in China but the art market seems not yet to be aware of this new trend!