The letter is the last surviving work of Chinese scholar Zeng Gong, who
penned it around 936 years ago, popular news website ThePaper.cn
reports. It was snapped up by film mogul Wang Zhongjun at the China
Guardian auction house on Sunday evening.
Zeng is considered one of the greatest prose writers of the Song Dynasty
era (960 to 1279 AD). In the letter, written in the later years of his
life, Zeng tells a friend about his recent political difficulties and a
feeling of isolation. "In this letter he pours his heart out," Yi
Guanghua, a specialist at China Guardian, explained prior to the sale.
According to China Daily, the letter has almost doubled in value since
it was last auctioned in 2009, when it fetched 108m yuan. It was a
record breaker then, too, becoming the first piece of Chinese
calligraphy to be sold for more than 100m yuan.
The price is unlikely to have fazed its new owner, though. Mr Wang is
known for spending big on art, having shelled out $61.8m on the Van Gogh
work Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies when it was auctioned in
New York in 2014.