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Art auction market rebounding

By Xinhua | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-28 07:59

Art auction market rebounding

Classical Chinese paintings and calligraphy pieces generated much interest at both auction and museums in 2016.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Last year, the turnover of China's antique and art auctions in 2016 surged by 16 percent year-on-year to reach 19.5 billion yuan ($2.8 billion), rebounding to a level last seen in 2014, according to the China Association of Auctioneers.

A report about China's art auctions, published by the association last year, said the turnover was calculated based on the combined sales from the country's top 10 auction houses, which jointly account for the lion's share of the national total.

According to the report, the 10 auction houses - including Poly Auction, China Guardian Auctions, Canton Treasure Auction and Shanghai Duoyunxuan Auction - held 403 auctions and 64,516 items were put up for sale. More than 47,000 of the lots were sold

Ou Shuying, the association's deputy secretary-general, said traditional Chinese art, especially classic calligraphy and paintings, remain popular items.

The top lot was the classic painting Five Drunken Kings Return on Horses by Ren Renfa, a painter and high-ranking official in charge of water control during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).

The gavel was struck when bids reached 303 million yuan at a sale held by Beijing Poly International Auction Co.

Last year, 265 artworks sold for more than 10 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 44.02 percent.

The increase in turnover was also attributed to the surge in the prices of Buddhist art items and tea sets made from purple sand.

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