599 Ferrari fetches $2 million - despite cracked paintwork
By Jeff Salton
November 3, 2009
A buyer has paid US$2 million at a charity auction for a unique Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano painted by leading Chinese artist, Lu Hao. The Ferrari supercar is decorated with Song Dynasty Ge Kiln “cracked” glaze pattern.
Today, only a few hundred pieces of Ge Kiln porcelain exist, and all are priceless treasures. The “cracked” glaze pattern, which has the lustre of jade, is often used to symbolize the qualities of a true gentleman.
The traditional Ferrari ‘Start’ button on the steering wheel of this 599 is jade encrusted, the unique luggage set is etched with depictions of the Silk Road and the numbers on the rev counter are written in ancient Chinese Xiao Zhuan script.
Porcelain was brought to the western world via the Silk Road thousands of years ago and is synonymous as one of China’s most distinctive ancient arts. It is fitting that Ge Kiln porcelain has been used as the inspiration for the one-off version of Ferrari’s China Limited Edition Model.
“I feel extremely honored to be the first Chinese artist working with Ferrari,” said Lu Hao. “The creative inspiration for this unique model came from those elements of Chinese culture that have profound significance. This work embodies my understanding of the essences of Chinese culture and Ferrari.”
The money raised by the charity auction of the Ferrari 599 China will fund students of Tsinghua University’s Department of Automotive Engineering to study at Italy’s Politecnico di Milano University, which also includes an internship at Ferrari’s factory. It will also provide funding for young teachers at the Tsinghua University and enable them to participate in educational research at Politecnico di Milano. Company founder, Enzo Ferrari, always believed in supporting research, as well as providing and improving the skills and knowledge of young talents, and this project adheres to his philosophy.
“Ferrari is really excited for this initiative which reaches two important goals for us: first of all, as our chairman Mr Luca di Montezemolo always underlines, helping young students to enrich their preparation, as investing in them means investing in the future; on the other hand we celebrate five years of Ferrari in China with such a work of art which represents innovation and tradition, two values that Ferrari and China share,” says Ferrari Asia Pacific, CEO Mr. Marco Mattiacci.