Beijing, May 16:
A Chinese stringed instrument â€” or â€œguqinâ€ â€” crafted from wood and jade 700 years ago and renowned for its haunting tone sold for $465,000 today, an auction house official said.
Prices for Chinese antiquities have soared amid surging prosperity and a reawakened interest in the countryâ€™s classical past. A record was set in November, when a 1,250-year-old guqin sold in Beijing for $1.07 million. The 700-year-old guqin auctioned today is called â€œchanting dragon, roaring tiger.â€ It sold for $465,000, said a staff member at the Rongbao Auction House who refused to give his name.
He also declined to provide details about the buyer, who he said prefers to remain anonymous. A report in Fridayâ€™s China Daily newspaper ahead of the auction said the instrument was believed to have been made by famed artist Zhao Mengfu, who lived from 1254 to 1322. It â€œemits a crystal sound like the clinking of jadesâ€ when plucked, the newspaper said. It is made of wood from the Chinese parasol tree that has holes bored by insects and is inlaid with jade, the report said.