ArtInfo’s Madelaine O’dea reports on Beijing auction house China Guardian’s recently completed sales:
Guardian grossed 41 billion RMB ($622 million) over its four days of sales, the highest total ever achieved by a mainland Chinese auction house for such a series. The highlight of the market event was a masterpiece of calligraphy, “Ping An Tie” (“Safety Wish Script”), ascribed to the 4th-century master Wang Xizhi. The polychromatic work’s advent to the block had been hotly anticipated, with hundreds of people flocking to preview the hand scroll[….] In the event the scroll sold for RMB 308 million ($46.2 million), taking its place as the third most expensive Chinese work ever sold at auction.
Elsewhere Guardian did manage to claim records. Li Keran‘s ink-and-wash landscape “Long March” (1959) tripled its high estimate to sell for RMB 107.5 million ($16 million), setting a new record for a Chinese work of modern or contemporary art at auction. It topped the previous mark set just this spring — also at Guardian — when Zhang Daqian‘s 1968 study of the Austrian Alps sold for 100.8 million yuan ($14.77 million). There was general consensus, however, that Li’s record may not stand for long, as Poly Auctions has lined up an impressive slate of modern works for their fall sales next month, including auction favorite Qi Baishi‘s “The Sound and Color of Autumn.”