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Tuesday, November 16, 1999, updated at 09:06(GMT+8)
Culture Major Auction of 500 Relics In North China City

The Tianjin International Auctions Company will offer for sale more than 500 cultural relics in Tianjin, a port city in north China, at the end of the month.

Auctioneers estimate that the relics could rake in some 20 million yuan (2.43 million US dollars). The auction includes 300 porcelain items, 200 painting works and rare object d'art, said Liu Youzheng, general manager of the company.

Domestic and overseas collectors are expected to vigorously bid for a two-meter long painting of the Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin) by Zhang Daqian who died in 1983. The work is expected to sell for 500,000 yuan, said Liu.

The porcelain and object d'art include works from almost all Chinese dynasties. The most precious are a porcelain brush pot made in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) and a zither (guqin) from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).

Rare items for auction include bronze swords and jade ornaments from the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.), bronze mirrors from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and furniture from the Ming (1368- 1644) and the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

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