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Guqin auctioned for 8.91m yuan
Latest Updated by 2003-11-28 10:50:35

A RARE, 1,250-year-old Chinese zither was sold at an auction for 8.91 million (US$1.07 million), setting a new price record for such an instrument, a spokeswoman for the auction house said Thursday.

The sale highlights the soaring prices being paid in China for antiquities amid surging prosperity and a reawakened interest in the country's classical past.

The seven-stringed guqin was bought Wednesday at an auction in Beijing conducted by the Jiade Auction Co., said spokeswoman Liu Ying.

Liu said the instrument was sold by a Chinese collector, but she refused to identify the buyer. However, it is illegal to export such antiquities.

Chinese collectors are paying prices ranging into the millions of dollars for paintings, porcelains and other treasures at auctions on the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong, New York and elsewhere.

Government agencies and museums also are bidding for antiquities abroad, trying to recover treasures that were stolen or sold during a century of war and social upheaval. In December, a government agency paid a record US$3.6 million to buy an 11th-century Chinese scroll from a Japanese museum.

Guqins once were common in China and any classical scholar was expected to be able to play one.

Previously, the highest price paid for a guqin was 3.47 million yuan (US$420,000) in a sale earlier this year, Liu said.

The guqin sold Wednesday is called "Da Sheng Yi Yin," or "Sounds Made by Great Saints," according to Liu.

A nearly identical guqin made by the same craftsman is on display at the Palace Museum in Beijing.

Editor: Wings

By: Source:szdaily
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