CHINA NEWS
Ming & Qing Dynasty Furniture Auction in Nanjing 1-12-2008          by Mei Wu
My brother, Mr. Zhonghua Wu participated in this auction as a collector. He said that this is one of the biggest auctions in China
history. One of furniture, a Zitan Table carved with a thousand of lions was successfully auctioned at 9,200,000 RMB Yuan.
There were more than 100 pieces of  fine Ming & Qing furniture in Suzhou style of craftsmanship in this auction. There are different
kinds of wood, such as Huanghuali, Zitan, Jumu, Hongmu, Nanmu etc.
拍卖会由北京荣宝斋资深拍卖师举槌,此次拍卖8大专场中,紫砂和苏作家具举办专场拍卖,在全国是首例。中国古典家具历来有京作、
广作、晋作和苏作之说。苏作即为苏州作工,在明式家具中,苏式家具占很大比重。
明清苏作家具实物100多件,汇聚了明、清两代的古董家具珍品,就材质而言,有黄花梨、紫檀、榉木、红木、楠木等;就款式而言,有
案、几、橱、柜、桌、台、椅、凳、屏、床等,全是苏作传统厅堂书房家具,其中不乏难得一见的传世佳品。

China tightens definition of "cultural relics"; bans exports of pre-1949 historical items, from
Zaobao Newspaper  9-27-2007
Foreign tourists who go to China to seek items of historical significance must beware! The Chinese government has decided to
tighten the definition for "cultural relics" such that items pre-dating liberation in 1949 are now banned from being exported. The
regulations had earlier banned exports of items made before 1911.

New Export Policy on Chinese Culture Relics:
文物进出境审核管理办法 2007年7月13日出台
State Administrative Regulation on Assessment of Chinese Culture Relics for Entering and Leaving China    issued 7-13-2007

文物出境审核标准  2007年6月5日出台
State Assessment Standard of Chinese Culture Relics for Export   issued on 6-5-2007

China to Ban Export of Cultural Relics Older Than 1911, from Xinhua Newspaper  Wednesday  5-30-2007
The Chinese government is to ban individuals taking cultural relics predating 1911 out of the country, amid efforts to strengthen the
protection of cultural heritage, a senior cultural heritage official said on Tuesday.

"Previous regulations stipulated that cultural relics predating 1795 could not be taken across the border by individuals. However,
the base line is going to be adjusted to 1911," said Shan Jixiang, director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH).

"The end of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), China's last feudal society, is a convenient social mark for Chinese archaeologists," Li
Peisong, vice director of the SACH's Museum Department, told Xinhua.

The year 1911 was almost 100 years ago, which accorded with international practice that defines cultural relics protection based on
centennial marks, Li said, noting the smuggling of China's cultural relics abroad had long been serious.

Shan said the new regulation, which banned more cultural relics from being taken out of the country, would be promulgated before
the end of this year.

It also stipulates that important cultural relics produced before 1949 and major ethnic minority relics before 1966 could not be
removed, except those taking part in overseas exhibitions, Shan said.

Ethnic minority relics, especially those with distinct ethnic features, enjoyed great international popularity, said Tala, director of the
Institute of Cultural and Historical Relics and Archeology of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

"Traditional Mongolian women's headgear decorated with red coral, turquoise, pearl and precious metals, are treasures of the
Mongolian ethnic group and have long been favored by overseas collectors. Some have been lost overseas due to the lack of legal
protection," said Tala, himself of Mongolian ethnic origin.

Tala said headgear, saddles and other costumes could be sold to affluent private collectors for millions of yuan on the global
market because the materials from which they were made were hard to find, especially after 1966.

He said Mongolian cultural relics could not be easily identified as herders still used traditional silver bowls at home, some of which
were very old and are easily bought and smuggled by private collectors.

Laws and regulations say the removal of all cultural relics should first be approved by the State Council, or China's cabinet, and
they must go through the port designated by the government and declared to Customs.

Chinese experts estimated that more than 10 million Chinese cultural relics have been lost overseas.


Should the restrictions on the sale of Chinese antiquities be passed, it will very likely affect many classes of objects, including
furniture, making it both less accessible and potentially driving up the prices of those pieces that are currently in the United States!!!

In February, 2005, the US Department of State held one public hearing on this matter. Marc Wilson, CEO of Kansas City's Nelson-
Atkins Museum, along with his peers from museums in San Francisco, Chicago, and Cleveland, spoke at the hearing to express
concern about the far reaching and negative impact expected if the embargo were approved as requested.

Earlier this year, Senator Christopher S. Bond, Republican of Missouri, along with Charles E Schumer, Democrat of New York, and
Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, relayed concerns to the State Department about the transparency of its decision-making
process and challenged the legal underpinnings of China's request. Senator Bond's office says the State Department will delay
making a decision until at least early next year.

Christie's and Sothebys, international art auction houses, reflect the nature of this dynamically shifting market. Chinese art and
antiques remain highly desirable in the international market and some believe the tide is shifting back to the East. Competitive
bidding has caused prices to soar far above their pre-sale estimates in recent years as Asian buyers acquire pieces in the West.

The significance of fine Chinese antique furniture may become more apparent if the United States agrees to the embargo. “Should
the restrictions on the sale of Chinese antiquities be passed, it will very likely affect many classes of objects, including furniture,
making it both less accessible and potentially driving up the prices of those pieces that are currently in the United States,” says Lark
Mason, owner and founder of iGavel.com. He lectures and advises museums and collectors internationally, and has published
numerous articles and books on Chinese furniture.

According to the Chinese Culture Relics Society, most of the cultural relics were stolen and smuggled out of China before the
founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

The lost treasures include paintings, calligraphy, bronzeware, porcelain, oracle bone inscriptions and ancient books and records.

中国古典家具收藏升温 专家聚焦明清家具
http://www.sina.com.cn 2008年01月04日 11:56 新浪论坛
  包括清乾隆紫檀雕西番莲大平头案在内的六十件来自海内外著名藏家的明清家具顶尖精品将于一月九日至二十一日亮相中华世纪坛
世界艺术馆。这场名为“二00八中国古典家具精品展暨国际学术研讨会”的活动因为是首次举行的国际最高水平中国古典家具研究与展
示,吸引了拉克·梅森、叶承耀、伍嘉恩、田家青、胡德生等诸多业内顶级专家的参与。

  这十几位海内外古典家具研究学者和专家将就中国古典家具的历史与现状、传承与发展等问题进行深入探讨。中国文物学会会长彭
卿云表示,在过去很长一段时间,中国古典家具的学术研究比较滞后,其文化艺术底蕴与价值没有得到充分展示,一些著名专家学者的
研究成果未能及时得到宣传普及。深入挖掘中国古典家具形成和发展的历史文化背景,提升古典家具在中国古典文化艺术长河中的重要
地位,促进中国古典家具在新时代的传承和发展就成为此次研讨会的重要初衷。

  事实上,中国古典家具自明清以来,无论从选材用料、工艺技术、风格设计等方面,逐渐形成了鲜明的时代特色。
近年来古典家具
所承载的文化内涵逐渐开始受到尊崇,各类精巧绝伦的古典家具不仅成为艺术殿堂的重要收藏,也成为文物界、收藏界研究的课题。

  中国嘉德国际拍卖有限公司董事副总裁寇勤注意到已有几家拍卖公司进入到古典家具拍卖实际性操作。他认为家具和传统的拍品瓷
器、字画不同,对于藏家来说齐白石的画和当代不出名的画家作品都各有市场,而家具收藏现在还只认明清造、紫檀木等珍稀品种,其
实还有许多好东西没有纳入收藏范围,“好的东西推得不够,普及性的东西还太少”。

  在这场古典家具精品展上,公众首次有机会近距离欣赏中国明清家具的顶级珍品。除已知的几件宽逾二百五十厘米的明清紫檀大案
之一的清乾隆紫檀雕西番莲大平头案外,还有明紫檀双劈料八足绣墩、清早期紫檀高束腰四足三弯腿有托泥方香几等,均制作讲究,代
表了中国家具的最高艺术成就,极其珍贵。据策展人田家青透露,展品除大部分来自私人收藏,有些还是来自圆明园的遗物。