Chinese master's 1 000-year-old scroll may fetch $60 million

A section of the painting entitled 'Wood and Rock' by Song Dynasty pre-eminent scholar Su Shi (1037-1101) is shown during a media preview of Christies Hong Kong Autumn Sale in Hong Kong on August 30, 2018.  (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP/ Getty Images)
A section of the painting entitled 'Wood and Rock' by Song Dynasty pre-eminent scholar Su Shi (1037-1101) is shown during a media preview of Christies Hong Kong Autumn Sale in Hong Kong on August 30, 2018. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP/ Getty Images)

A record for Asian art may be broken Monday with the auction of a rare 1 000-year-old Chinese scroll rendered by the era’s most important artist.

The work depicting a withered tree, new bamboo shoots and a rock is expected to fetch roughly $60m at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong. The scroll is one of only two known to exist by the 11th century Song dynasty master Su Shi, who continues to inspire Chinese artists.

Su Shi is a household name in the country, revered as a scholar, statesman and writer often compared to Leonardo da Vinci.

Qualified bidders must pay a deposit of $20m just for the special gold-colored paddle used. The current owner is Japanese family that has possessed it since 1937. The scroll is embossed with seals showing its ownership and believed provenance back to 1644.

The only other scroll known by Su Shi resides in the National Palace Museum in Taiwan.

A section of the painting entitled 'Wood and Rock'
A section of the painting entitled 'Wood and Rock' by Song Dynasty pre-eminent scholar Su Shi (1037-1101) is shown during a media preview of Christies Hong Kong Autumn Sale in Hong Kong on August 30, 2018.  (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP/ Getty Images) 

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