Rare Chinese calligraphy scroll fetches $46m at auction

A rare hand scroll copy of ancient Chinese calligrapher Wang Xizhi The copy of Wang Xizhi's work measures 24.5cm x 13.8cm (9.8in x 5.5in)

A rare Chinese calligraphy scroll has fetched 308m yuan (£29m; $46m) - the second-highest amount paid for an artwork at auction in China, the state-run Xinhua news agency says.

The scroll on silk with four lines of characters is a copy of ancient Chinese calligrapher Wang Xizhi's work.

Officials at the China Guardian auction in Beijing did not reveal any details of the buyer.

In June, another calligraphy scroll was purchased for 437m yuan.

The copy of Wang's work measuring 24.5cm x 13.8cm (9.8in x 5.5in) was sold at auction on Saturday.

The scroll originally had nine lines of characters but was torn into parts, so buyers were bidding only for the first part with four lines, Xinhua said.

It is a copy of of a work by Wang Xizhi - a Jin dynasty figure who is known as the Sage of Calligraphy. However, none of his works are known to have survived.

Experts believe that the scroll sold at auction dates from the Tang dynasty between 618-907.

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