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Lot 3679. An Inscribed 'Ying' Scholar's Rock, Qing Dynasty or Earlier; width 27.5 cm., 10 3/4  inEstimate 500,000 — 700,000 HKD. Lot sold 625,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

the jagged stone horizontally oriented forming high ridges and deep crevasses, the stone of dark grey and brown tones, the flat base inscribed in seal script with eight characters qian yan jingxiu, wan huo yun zheng (‘thousand cliffs compete on beauty, steamy clouds emit from million gorges’), above another inscription in running script reading ci yuan jiucang Hong Shinong jia, yu yi wuyi zhong de zhi (‘this was originally in the family collection of Hong Shinong, [and] I acquired it incidentally’), followed by two seals Cha and Lin, two wood stands.

Provenance: Collection of Hong Fan.
Collection of Cha Shixie.

Note: A native of Anhui, Hong Fan (studio name Shinong), served the Qing court and was at one time named the Yan Yi Caodao (‘chief canal officer of Yanzhou and Yizhou’). Hong, also a scholar, excelled in poetry and calligraphy, as well as painting, especially flowers and birds. Following the styles of landscape and bamboo painting masters such as Huang Gongwang (1269-1354) and Su Shi (1037-1101), Hong’s works were recognised to attain the essence of antiquity.

Cha Lin, who also went by the name Shixie, his zi Dongsheng or hao Shaomei, was a native of Haining, Zhejiang and painter active in the late Qing dynasty. Influenced by early Qing masters such as Gao Qipei (1660-1734) and Yun Shouping (1633-1690), his portraits, still life and animal paintings were highly appreciated. Cha was also renowned for his calligraphy in seal and clerical scripts.

Sotheby'sContemporary Literati — A Gathering, Hong Kong, 07  april 2014