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Calligraphy by Chinese ancient scholar nets $32m

Updated: 2016-05-16 13:20:41

( chinadaily.com.cn )

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The work Ju Shi Tie by Chinese Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) scholar Zeng Gong fetched 207 million yuan at the China Guardian's Grand View Night in Beijing, May 15, 2016. [Photo/China Guardian]

A calligraphy work by Chinese Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) scholar Zeng Gong fetched 207 million yuan ($31.69 million) at the China Guardian 2016 Spring Auction on Sunday evening, setting an auction record for the calligrapher.

The work Ju Shi Tie, a script with only 124 characters and signed by Gong himself, generated a heated bidding war in the salesroom of China Guardian's Grand View Night.

It finally went to Wang Zhongjun, the Chinese movie mogul who co-founded Huayi Brothers Media Corp, who made headlines by spending $61.8 million on a Van Gogh canvas, Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies, at a Sotheby's sale in New York in November, 2014.

The calligraphy work was originally a letter Gong wrote for one of his countrymen at a ripe age of 62. It told his recent situation and expressed his depression of being exiled from the capital for 12 years.

The work made its debut at a Christie's sale in New York about 20 years ago and was sold for $508,500 (about 4.51 million yuan).

The second time, it made its appearance in Poly’s Autumn Auction in 2009 and reached a deal of 108 million yuan, which made it the first Chinese calligraphy work break the 100 million yuan.

From the transaction price of its third deal, the price of Gong's work has increased by 45 times in 20 years.

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