The turnover of China's antique and art auctions in 2016 surged by 16 percent year on year to reach 19.5 billion yuan (2.8 billion U.S. dollars), rebounding to a level last seen in 2014, according to the China Association of Auctioneers.
The association on Thursday issued a report on China's art auction in 2016. It said the turnover was calculated based on the combined sales from China's top 10 auction houses, which jointly take up lion's share of the country's total.
The report says that the 10 auction houses, including Poly Auction, China Guardian Auctions, Canton Treasure Auction and Shanghai Duoyunxuan Auction, held 403 auctions in 2016, in which a total of 64,516 items were put up for sale, and 47,162 sold.
Ou Shuying, deputy secretary general of the association, said that Chinese traditional art especially classic calligraphy and paintings remained popular items.
The report shows that nine auction sold for more than 100 million yuan each.
The top lot was the classic painting "Five Drunken Kings Return on Horses" by Ren Renfa, a painter and high-ranking official in charge of water control in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
The gavel was struck when the painting achieved 303 million yuan at Beijing Poly Auction.
The number of artworks sold for more than 10 million yuan went up by 44.02 percent year on year to 265 items in 2016.
The increase in turnover was also attributed to the surge in the prices of Buddhist art items and tea sets made of purple sands. While the prices of contemporary arts and oil paintings were sluggish.