Night to remember
The Poly Auction held its autumn auction in Beijing on Sunday night, with total sales reaching 3.17 billion yuan (9 million), according to a Sunday report from artron.net.
The auction presented four halls of Chinese paintings, among which the Heart Sutra by Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) painter Zhao Mengfu was bought by the Gansu Tianqing Museum for 166 million yuan, the highest price attained by a classical Chinese painting or calligraphy work during the autumn auction season.
Other ancient paintings that broke records include Tang Yin's (1470-1523) Moon and Spring Water handscroll (92 million yuan), a Kun Can (1612-92) landscape hanging scroll (35.65 million yuan) and Guo Xu's (1456-1532) Traveling at Night hanging scroll (20.7 million yuan).
It is worth mentioning that Kun's other untitled landscape hanging scroll started bidding at 2.6 million yuan, but ended up selling for 10.5 million yuan.
The works of Shi Tao (1642-1707) all went for high prices, with his 1704 painting Plum, Pine and Bamboo selling for 5.52 million yuan, 4.6 times its estimated price.
Following the ancient paintings, the auctions contemporary artist section also saw impressive sales. Seven pieces of art were sold that night, with two earning more than 100 million yuan a piece.
A series of masterpieces from Qi Baishi (1864-1957 ) was a major highlight of the night. Painted in 1925, his series of hanging scrolls, Twelve Landscape Screens, started bidding at 450 million yuan and finally sold for 810 million yuan. This set a new record for a sale of Qi's paintings at auction.
The Modern Chinese Painting Evening Sales section also performed well, with two items earning more than 100 million yuan each.
Among the works sold in this section, Wu Changshuo's artwork Twelve Flower Screens, painted in 1915-16, saw bidding soar from 72 million yuan to 182 million after a fierce bidding war. This also set a new record for the sale of Wu's work at auction.
The second highest-selling work of the night was Li Keran's 1974 painting Sacred Place of Revolution - Mount Shao, which sold for 178 million yuan.
The work was first sold at a public auction in 1996 when Li's family was preparing funds for the Li Keran foundation. In 2012, it went back to auction again, where it sold for 124.2 million yuan.
Fu Baoshi's painting A Meeting of Scholars at the Lan Pavilion (1944) was the third most expensive item sold in the modern Chinese section, going for 72 million yuan.