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December 15, 2009

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Home » Feature » Art and Culture

Rare ivory on auction

UNUSUAL carved ivory, rhinoceros horn, bamboo and jade antiques will be sold at the Changfeng Autumn Auction tomorrow in Beijing.

The sale offers nearly 300 art pieces, notably from the studies of literati.

Changfeng Auction House was established three years ago with a special focus on jade and antique items from the study, such as ink stones, holders for paint brushes and decorative objects for contemplation.

"We didn't expect that a bunch of collectors would be so crazy about these things," says auction house spokeswoman Li Jing. The staff received items from collectors in China and abroad.

The highlight of the auction is a series of antique ivory carvings of a type seldom seen at auctions. Due to the rarity of ivory and high level of carving skills, ivory artworks were often placed in the study.

One of the ivory carvings from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) features a boy sitting on a boat and his mother rowing behind. The carving is extraordinarily intricate. The piece is expected to fetch between 200,000 yuan and 300,000 yuan (US$29,283-43,924).

Carved bamboo paint brush holders were collected by Chinese intellectuals, bamboo being an auspicious symbol of longevity, durability and flexibility. One two-part holder to be auctioned combines carving, poetry, calligraphy and painting. It is expected to fetch between 80,000 yuan and 120,000 yuan.

Date: Today, 9am-5pm (for preview); December 16, Tomorrow (for auction)

Venue: Beijing Hotel, 33 Dongchang'an Ave, Beijing


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