The story appears on

Page A11

May 7, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

Record likely for ancient ink wash

AN ink-wash painting signed by eight scholars from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) is expected to set an auction record for ancient Chinese painting in the upcoming auction season. Wang Jie reports.

A spectacular ink-wash painting from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and works by Qi Baishi and Chen Yifei are among the highlights of the upcoming Beijing spring auction season this month and in June.

A painting by Wang Meng (1308-1385), signed by seven other artists and scholars, is expected to fetch around 200 million yuan (US$30.7 million) during the sale by Poly International Auction Co from June 2-4 in Beijing, according to an auction spokeswoman. That would set an auction record for ancient Chinese painting and calligraphy.

The major spring auctions of ancient paintings, antiques and contemporary art are held by Guardian, Council and Poly International.


The auction season gets underway with the Guardian Spring Auction from May 21-25 at the Beijing International Hotel Convention Center. Classical painting and calligraphy, porcelain, oil painting and sculpture, ancient books and other items will be auctioned.

The highlight of the 350-piece classical Chinese painting and calligraphy section is an ink-wash work by famed artist Qi Baishi (1864-1957), painted in 1946 when he was in 80s. Picturing a falcon on a pine branch, and titled "A Long Life, A Peaceful World," it was a gift to Chiang Kai-shek, late leader of the Kuomintang, on his 60th birthday. It measures almost 500 centimeters by 166 centimeters. A floor price has not been set. It is said a similar piece was created four years later for then Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong.

Guardian's classical painting and calligraphy section is divided into five parts, including classical Chinese paintings and calligraphy; Young Marshall's Literary Pursuits: Paintings and Calligraphy from Family Collection of Chang Hsueh-liang; Treasures from the Four Seas.

Another highlight is porcelain, notably a blue and white, flower-patterned, octagonal candlestick from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), expected to fetch 10-12 million yuan. It is one of more than 1,000 pieces of ancient porcelain to go under the hammer.

Other highlights include a 1,200-year-old guqin (zither) from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), from the collection of Wang Shixiang, a renowned scholar and collector in Beijing. The same zither was sold at the Guardian 2003 Autumn Auction for a record price for guqin of 8.91 million yuan. On April 21 and 22, it was played at the National Center for the Performing Arts.

Four oil paintings by contemporary master Chen Yifei (1946-2005) will be auctioned, including one each from his Tibetan, lady, canal town and music series.


Following Guardian, Council Auction House will hold a series of auctions for ancient classical paintings and calligraphy, porcelain, furniture, contemporary oils and modern porcelain.

According to auction spokesman Ge Shiheng, the highlight will be calligraphy by Li Shutong (1880-1942), a renowned Buddhist monk, artist and art teacher.

Li was widely known by his Buddhist name, Hong Yi. The calligraphy to be auctioned was written when Li was aged 50; it contains the lyrics for a song with a Zen feeling, urging people to avoid desire to achieve a higher spiritual level.

"We don't hold large-scale auctions, our aim is a small, quality auction," says Ge.


The two big auction houses in China are Guardian and Poly, which compete in offering the most precious Chinese art and antiques. Poly's highlight is the ink-wash by Wang Meng of the Yuan Dynasty.

"The rarity of painting and calligraphy from the Yuan Dynasty is one factor in the value, to say nothing of the fact that it contains poems and signatures of seven other famous scholars and artists of the same period," says Zhang Qing, spokeswoman of the Poly International Auction House.

? Guardian Auction


Classical Chinese painting and calligraphy

Date: from May 17-20, 9:30am-9pm

Ancient books

Date: May 21, 9:30am-6pm

Oil painting and sculpture

Date: May 21-23, 9:30am-6pm


Date: May 21, 9:30am-6pm

Venue: Beijing International Hotel Convention Center


Date: May 21-25, 9:30am-8pm

Venue: 3F, Beijing International Hotel Convention Center

? Council Auction


Date: from June 3-5, 9am-7pm

Venue: 3F, Beijing International Hotel Convention Center


Date: June 6-8, 9am

Venue: 3F, Beijing International Hotel Convention Center

? Poly Auction


Date: May 30, 9am-7pm

Venue: Asia Hotel Beijing


Date: June 2-6, 9:30am

Venue: Asia Hotel Beijing


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend