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Arts

Rare 700-year-old Chinese Scroll goes under the hammer in Hong Kong

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A 700-year-old painted scroll from the Yuan Dynasty titled “Five Drunken Princes Returning On Horseback” is expected to sell for $10-15.5 million at an upcoming Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong.

Once owned by Chinese emperors and painted by Yuan dynasty master Ren Renfa (1255-1327), the two metre-long scroll will go under the hammer along with other rare artworks on Oct. 8.

“This is a painting that entered the court collection in the 18th century, in the collection of the Emperor Qianlong. It will have the seals of Emperor Qianlong, his son Jiaqing and further emperors of the Qing dynasty,” Sotheby’s Asia chairman Nicholas Chow said at a media preview on Wednesday.

The scroll shows the five princes and four attendants, who are also all on horseback in a dynamic scene.

“It was in the hands of Pu Yi, the last emperor, who took it out of the Forbidden City and after that sold it on the market. And it entered various very important collections in the West. And it’s with us here today,” Chow added.Among other works showcased by Sotheby’s was a complete scroll from Qing dynasty artist Wang Hui’s famous work, “The Kangxi Emperor’s Southern Inspection Tour”.

Its twelve scrolls, which are 200 metres (656 feet) long in total, are scattered around the world. Sotheby’s described its presentation of a complete scroll as unique. The item is not for sale.

Reporting by Reuters Television and Aleksander Solum; Writing by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Mike Collett-White

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