On December 15, Xiling Auction sealed its 10th anniversary with complete success in the 2014 Autumn Auction. With a total sale of 1.833 billion yuan in 38 sales and 83.33% sold by lot, Xiling Auction narrows the gap between art markets in the south and north, which indicates that both of them have made clear its direction and position based in their own cultural traditions. According to incomplete statistics, more than 1400 bidding paddles register in the sale, among which over 500 bidders make their debut. Considering the overall art market this autumn, Xiling Auction’s performance goes well beyond expectation. This is a review of past ten years’ hard work and exploration as well as the starting point of a new chapter.
This autumn sale has provided the most sales and finest artworks than ever before. Under the principle of Integrity, Innovation and Perseverance, Xiling Auction presents refined categories with an insight into the art history and inner-value of artworks and offered quality service. In the sale, bidders pay particular attention to artworks that are genuine, fine and new to the market. Five special sales are sold 100% by lot, multiple sales break a record high and new records are set in intense bidding, suggesting Xiling’s strict selection criteria is approved in the more mature market.
Lu Jingqing, GM of Xiling Auction, says:” In the past ten years, Xiling Auction has been rooted in the cultural soil of Xiling Society of Seal Arts (Xiling Yinshe) and adhered to the ideal of research-oriented auction so as to secure a steady growth. By focusing on art’s width and depth, Xiling Auction inherits the literati spirit of Xiling Yinshe and endeavors to take the social responsibility of communicating culture and art. In the future, I wish Xiling Auction could add spice to Xiling Yinshe, contribute more the sound development of art market and develop cultural exchanges between China and the world as a whole.”
Top-quality ancient fine books and ritual bronze wares
MIAO FA LIAN HUA JING RU ZHU（7 vols）
HUA YAN JING RU FA JIE PING SHAN CAI CAN WEN BIAN XIANG JING
Rare and Fine Ancient Books opens on December 13. Classics printed in Song Dynasty catch people’s eyes again: In the previous seminar, scholars and academicians both from home and abroad discussed about MIAO FA LIAN HUA JING RU ZHU and confirmed its academic value. In the sale, it is sold for 9.43 million yuan, the highest of sutra in Song Dynasty. As for HUA YAN JING RU FA JIE PING SHAN CAI CAN WEN BIAN XIANG JING, it is the earliest known comic strip sutra impressed in Song Dynasty and sold for 6.21 million yuan. Ancient books are increasingly important in domestic art market due to its cultural value and historical status. They also attract a group of mature and sensible collectors who are highly enthusiastic.
LATE SHANG DYNASTY A BRONZE WINE VESSEL WITH ANIMAL MASK PATTERNS, JIA
LATE WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY A BRONZE VESSEL WITH DRAGON HEAD PATTERNS AND INSCRIPTION, GU
As the 12th China’s first special sale, Ritual Bronze Ware draws a number of collectors. 16 ritual bronze wares previously collected by masters with provenances are sold clear with a total sale volume of nearly 40 million yuan, way much higher than the estimates. A BRONZE WINE VESSEL WITH ANIMAL MASK PATTERNS, JIA collected by C. T. Loo and Philips began with 4 million yuan and finally sold with 9.545 million yuan; A BRONZE VESSEL WITH DRAGON HEAD PATTERNS AND INSCRIPTION, GUI with over 10 literatures is sold at the price of 5.06 million yuan; A SQUARE BRONZE VESSEL WITH INSCRIPTION, DING previously collected by Chen Jieqi and Jingxiutang Studio is hammered at 8.395 million yuan. Lu Jingqing states that the sale performance is way beyond expectation. The sale of bronze wares not only stimulates the back of overseas wares, but also boosts the internationalization of China’s art market. Meanwhile, as national treasure, bronze wares help spread bronze culture to the public, meaning a lot to the study, promotion and protection of bronze wares.
Manuscripts by celebrities go international
A total of three manuscript sales are presented this time, ranging from culture, history, politics, science and art over four centuries. In the sale, Manuscripts by Foreign Celebrities is dedicated to collectors for the first time and a great number of rare manuscripts raises interest from the public.
XU ZHIMO AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPTS OF WEDDING DIARY
The three sales total 69.79 million yuan, breaking the record in domestic market. One of the lots is XU ZHIMO AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPTS OF WEDDING DIARY, which has never been published before. It is the most important known new literature manuscript in the market and sold for 2.415 million yuan. A group of letters by Zhang Shizhao are sold several times higher than the starting price. On Balance, original manuscript by Zhang is sold for 69,000 yuan. Study into Essays by Liu Zongyuan, a masterpiece by Zhang, is sold for 95,000 yuan.
KARL HEINRICH MARX AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED TO JOHN SWINTON
On the foreign part, KARL HEINRICH MARX AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED TO JOHN SWINTON, a touch of communism pioneer, is sold with 4.1075 million yuan, the highest of western manuscripts in China. MIYAZAKI HAYAO AUTOGRAPH SIGNED DRAFT starts at 15,000 yuan and jumps to 10,000 yuan in one leap and finally sold at 207,000 yuan. Featuring characters of times and figures, manuscripts have become more popular than ever.
paintings & calligraphy works
WU CHANGSHUO FLOWERS OF FOUR SEASONS
HONG YI CALLIGRAPHY IN RUNNING SCRIPT
Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy are still the most popular category. Articles collected by masters are after by others. Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy by Top Members of Xiling Yinshe has been catching people’s eyes since its debut. In its 10th anniversary, WU CHANGSHUO FLOWERS OF FOUR SEASONS starts at 6.5 million yuan and sold at 18.4 million yuan, paying due respect to the 170th anniversary of Wu Changshuo as the first president of Xiling Yinshe. Another legendary article is HONG YI CALLIGRAPHY IN RUNNING SCRIPT. Beginning at 38,000 yuan, it is sold at 4.715 million yuan after over 50 rounds of competitions. It is previously collected by Lu Bolong and provided by his family after going through hazards in the Cultural Revolution.
SHEN ZHOU LANDSCAPEIn the Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy of Yu Zicai, YU ZICAI LANDSCAPE AFTER SHEN SHITIAN, titled and inscribed by Wu Hufan, Dai Zhi, Yu Zicai, etc. is sold at 12.65 million yuan. The sale reflects Yu’s great passion for traditional Chinese culture.
CHEN HONGSHOU POEM IN RUNNING SCRIPT
Chinese Golden-Painted Fan Leaves of Ming and Qing Dynasties is composed of 20 extraordinarily fine fan leaves, featuring calligraphy works by ‘Zhuangyuan’ (the person scoring the first prize in the imperial examination). Most of the lots are sold with prizes several times the size of estimates. CHEN HONGSHOU POEM IN RUNNING SCRIPT starts at 80,000 yuan, followed by 1.5 million yuan and 2.7 million yuan later. The bidding is soon replaced by 3 million yuan from telephone bidding. Finally, it is sold at 6.44 million yuan.
Contemporary Art’s Emphasis on Research
Qiu Qijing’s Jade Carvings·Some Lots in Paradise Series
Light and Dust III·Qiu Qijing’s Jade Carvings comprises 59 works of Qiu Qijing. Qiu blazes a trail with his wild imagination against cultural context. It is truly a groundbreaking move to cooperate with this avant-garde artist on our 10th anniversary. The total sale volume is 119 million yuan with the rate sold by lot reaching 88%. The highlight is Lot 3920-3937. A batch of experimentalist works are sold as a whole at 73.6 million yuan. And Jade Carvings by Contemporary Chinese Masters reaches 145 million yuan and 80% sold by lot.
LIU HAISU SHANGHAI TEMPLE FAIR
Modern and Contemporary Chinese Oil Paintings hits a new record with over 100 million yuan sale. A group of important works with clear provenances are approved by market. Artists from different generations display their achievement in exploring nationalization of Chinese oil paintings. On the other hand, works from academism perform well on the market: LIU HAISU SHANGHAI TEMPLE FAIR is sold with 13.225 million yuan, breaking the artist’s record after rounds of competition. Expression from Image·Chinese Ink Paintings’ Modernity Progress and Contemporary Chinese Scholar’s Ink Paintings represent works in various stages and directions to display the oriental art media’s modernity progress over a century. Xu Lei, a scholarly artist whose works HORSE and DRAGON AND HORSE are sold with 2.415 million yuan and 3.565 million yuan respectively, demonstrating a balance between pleasure and sensibility.
EARLY QING DYNASTY A TIANHUANG STONE FIGURE OF ARHAT
As one of Xiling Yinshe’s top categories, seal cuttings inherits both its history and academic background. This time we present Study Series·Tianhuang Stones, Study Series·Seal Cuttings by Six Masters in Late Qing Dynasty and Study Series·Seal Cutting by Modern Masters and score 102 million yuan altogether. EARLY QING DYNASTY A TIANHUANG STONE FIGURE OF ARHAT is made in early Qing Dynasty. Its large scale and vivid color mount to its rarity with such an elaborate style. The arhat figure starts at 5 million yuan and is sold at 9.315 million yuan. QING DYNASTYA LIGHTLY CARVED TIANHUANG STONE SEAL WITH DRAGON PATTERNS BY HUANG SHILING is sold at 1.61 million yuan.
LIU DANZHAI YELLOW RIVER
Comic Works & Illustrations by Chinese Masters completes with satisfactory accomplishments. It is sold with 43.4 million yuan and 95% sold by rate. LIU DANZHAI YELLOW RIVER is finally sold with 9.43 million yuan.
JIAQING PERIOD, QING DYNASTY A PURPLE CLAY FLAT TEAPOT MADE BY YANG PENGNIAN AND INSCRIBED BY CHEN MANSHENG
In Chinese Zisha Wares of Different Dynasties, JIAQING PERIOD, QING DYNASTY A PURPLE CLAY FLAT TEAPOT MADE BY YANG PENGNIAN AND INSCRIBED BY CHEN MANSHENG is previously collected by Qian Jingtang and has been housed by Li Yanwu since 1964. It is provided by Li’s family and sold with 5.3475 million yuan, breaking the record of teapots made by Chen Mansheng.
SONG DYNASTY A GUQIN TRIO INCLUDING A ‘FUXI’ STYLE GUQIN ‘TIANFENGHAITAO’(HEAVENLY WIND OVER DASHING SEA WAVES) HOUSED BY XIA PUZHAI, A GUQIN MUSIC SCORE ‘JIAO’AN QIN PU’ AND A RED LACQUERED WOOD GUQIN TABLE WITH LANDSCAPE PATTERNS
Sales of refined articles in the study also embrace high sale rate. SONG DYNASTY A GUQIN TRIO INCLUDING A ‘FUXI’ STYLE GUQIN ‘TIANFENGHAITAO’ (HEAVENLY WIND OVER DASHING SEA WAVES) HOUSED BY XIA PUZHAI, A GUQIN MUSIC SCORE ‘JIAO’AN QIN PU’ AND A RED LACQUERED WOOD GUQIN TABLE WITH LANDSCAPE PATTERNS is sold at 3.22 million yuan for its origin and clear provenance. After hundreds of years’ honing, it resonates with metallic sound profoundly. As for Xiling Yinshe’s first sale of potting landscape, it brings works from different schools for collectors, ranging from Zhe, Su, Lingnan, etc. A 150-year old Pinus thunbergii Parl is sold for 1.84 million yuan. In addition, Chinese Garden Arts·Stone Carvings, Chinese Coins & Banknotes and Famous Chinese Wine sell well, too.