The story appears on

Page C8

December 17, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature » Art and Culture

'Golden Age' pieces prepared for auctioneer's gavel

ABOUT 100 artworks ranging from traditional ink-wash paintings, calligraphy and ancient bronzewares to antique stationery will go under the hammer at Chongyuan's autumn auction on December 24-25 at the Hilton Shanghai hotel.

Titled "Shanghai's Golden Age," many of the art pieces are said to be collected from the overseas descendants of the rich and prosperous families of old Shanghai.

"Both the fair ladies and prosperous businessmen shared high social standing, rich art collections and outstanding connoisseurship," says Ji Chongjian, CEO of Chongyuan Arts Auction. "The advantage of these artworks really lies in their origins, which is so critical in today's market."

One of the highlights is the collection of Cai Yuanpei (1868-1940), a famous revolutionary and educationalist. Cai had a wide interest in philosophy, psychology and art history. He studied in France and Germany for several years.

In 1916, Cai returned to China to be chancellor of Peking University the following year. He recruited renowned thinkers and future Chinese Communist Party leaders, such as Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao, during his tenure. In 1927, he co-founded the National College of Music, later becoming the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

Cai advocated the equal importance of five living styles - virtue, wisdom, health, collective and beauty - core values still taught today in schools in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

A Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) bronze mirror and a Song Dynasty (960-1279) ink-stone from Cai's collection undoubtedly will attract bidding interest at the auction.

Another highlight will be a small refrigerator made in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The piece was sold for US$567,500 at Christie's New York auction five years ago.

The refrigerator, with enamel craftwork on the surface, weighs 21 kilograms and is believed to have once belonged to the Old Summer Palace.

"As far as I know, that has not been proved yet," Ji explains. "But this refrigerator is truly a combination of Western technology and Oriental art, which in my eyes is more critical than its history related to the Old Summer Palace.

"Frankly speaking, I am a bit uncomfortable to see such an astronomic figure from an overseas auction for the over-hyped value of an antique from the Old Summer Palace," Ji says.


Date: December 22-23, 9am-6pm


Date: December 24-25, 9am

Address: 250 Huashan Rd


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