Qing Dynasty Horse: Ready to Gallop for $7.7 million!

Andrea Divirgilio / September 7, 2007

Amidst various controversies, the Sotheby’s is all set to auction the Qing Dynasty horse head, looted from China’s royal mansion. It is expected to fetch a staggering $7.7 million and will be on a four-day bid, starting from October 6. The seller happens to be a well-known Taiwanese collector, whose identity was not disclosed.

The bronze horse head, one of the 12 zodiac animals, was a part of a water fountain in Yuanmingyuan, a royal summer palace, which was plundered by the British and French troops. Critics call it a ‘stolen property’ and therefore demand its return to the Chinese people. Sotheby’s Asia Chief Executive Kevin Ching brushed aside these allegations and called the sale valid.

According to an article by the state-run Xinhua News in 2003, approximately 1 million pieces of rare Chinese relics are spread in above 200 museums in not less than 47 nations. Most of the animals of the zodiac signs have been sold off, whereas the whereabouts of a few are unknown.

The horse head sure has historical value, but someone who has bought it, would not return it to the Chinese people without expecting a return. Meanwhile, it is standing proud in the Sotheby’s, waiting to be handed over to a bidder who would value its worth!

Via: Bloomberg

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