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Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
Part 1

Christie's


10 AM, March 24, 2011


Sale 2518/2527


Rare bronze figural stand

Lot 1261, figural stand, bronze, Han Dynasty, 6 3/4 inches long

By Carter B. Horsley

This March 24, 2011 auction at Christie's of Chinese Works of Art is highlighted by a very fine stone head of Buddha, a superb gilt bronze figure of Acuoye Guanyin, a fine bronze figural stand from the Han Dynasty and a glazed mermaid.

Lot 1261 is perhaps the most animated work in the auction.  It is a bronze figural stand from the Han Dynasty that is 6 3/4 inches long and depicts "a foreigner with arms outstretched holding a conical receptable in his right hand, wearing a loin cloth and seated atop a chimera standing in an aggressive pose with its mouth open in a fierce roar above its long, trailing beard, its curved horns curled back behind the ears and the tufts of hair that sprout from the cheeks, the details of its short wings finely incised and its bony tail curled around its rear left leg, the smooth surface with some milky green malachite encrustation.  The lot was once with the Tsui Museum of Art and has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It sold for $98,500.


Head of Buddha

Lot 1296, head of Buddha, stone, Northern Wei Dynasty, 6th Century B.C., Longxian Grotto, Hunan Province, 17 inches high

Lot 1296 is a very beautiful stone head of Buddha from the Northern Wei Dynasty, 6th Century B.C., Longxian Grotto, Hunan Province.  It is 17 inches high and was once in the Alphonse Khan collection in Paris.  It has a modest estimate of $150,000 to $250,000.  It sold for $338,500.

Acuoye Guanyin

Lot 1294, Gilt bronze figure of Acuoye Guanyin, Dali Kingdom, Yunnan Province, 12th Century, 17 7/8 inches high

Lot 1294 is a very lovely and quite restrained gilt bronze figure of Acuoye Guanyin, Dali Kingdom, Yunnan Province, 12th Century.  The tall and slender statue is 17 7/8 inches high and comes from the Walter and Phyllis Shorenstein Collection of Chinese Art.  Mr. Shorenstein was a major real estate developer in San Francisco.  The lot has an estimate of $500,000 to $800,000.  It sold for $4,002,500.
Ritual food vessel and cover

Lot 1241, Ritual food vessel and cover, bronze, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 9 7/8 inches in diameter

Lot 1241 is a "very rare" bronze ritual food vessel and cover from the Early Western Zhou Dynasty.  It is 9 7/8 inches in diameter and has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It was formerly in the Tsui Museum of Art.  It sold for $302,500. The long handles issue from bovine masks with pronounced horns and interrupt a band of alternating whorls and descending dragons.
Large bronze bell

Lot 1254, large bronze bell, Bo Zhong, Spring and Autumn Period, 16 1/2 inches high

Lot 1254 is a large and impressive bronze bell, Bo Zhong, from the Spring and Autumn Period, Early 5th Century B.C.  It is 16 1/2 inches high and has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It sold for $314,500.

Bronze ritual tripod food vessel

Lot 1236, Ritual tripod food vessel, bronze, (ding), Shang Dynasty, 12th Century B.C., 11 1/2 inches high


Lot 1236 is a very handsome and rare Shang Dynasty bronze ritual tripod food vessel.  It is 11 1/2 inches high and has an estimate of $90,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $314,500.  The vessel has very decorative "flat" legs rather then columnar ones.

Gilt-bronze dragon head terminal

Lot 1270, Large gilt-bronze dragon head terminal fitting, Tang Dynasty, 9 3/4 inches long

Lot 1270 is a wonderful, large gilt-bronze dragon head terminal fitting from the Tang Dynasty (618-907).  It is 9 3/4 inches long and has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.  It failed to sell.


Group of female musicians and attendants

Lot 1315, group of nine straw-glazed female musicians and attendants, Sui Dynasty, (581-618), 8 1/4 inches high

Lot 1315 is a very attractive group of nine straw-glazed female musicians and attendants from the Sui Dynasty (581-618).  The figures are 8 1/4 inches high.  The lot has a modest estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.  It sold for $30,000.

Seated Maitreya Buddha

Lot 1299, Figure of a seated Maitreya Buddha, limestone, Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), Longmen Caves, 17 inches high


Lot 1299 is a very lovely limestone figure of a seated Maitreya Buddha from the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), Longmen Caves.  It is 17 inches high and was once in the Mathias Komor Collection.  It has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.  Curiously, it passed.

Buddhist panel

Lot 1347, Cloissone enamel-embellished gilt-lacquer wall panel, 39 1/2 inches wide


Lot 1347 is a very bold and impressive, albeit undated, cloisonne enamel-embellished gilt-lacquer wall panel that is 39 1/2 inches wide.  It depicts a lake scene with lotus leaves and kingfishers.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000.  It failed to sell.

12-panel inlaid hardwood screen

Lot 1360, "Massive" 12-panel inlaid hardwood screen, 123 3/16 inches long

Lot 1360 is very dramatic and "massive" 12-panel inlaid hardwood screen.  It is 123 3/16 inches long.  The catalogue notes that "each panel inlaid on a laqquer ground in stained bone and hardwoods with a scene that forms part of the overall, fantastic, panoramic mountainous landscape replete with numerous immortals and other figures at various pursuits."  It has a modest estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $446,500.


Sancai-glazed ewer

Lot 1288, Sancai-glazed ewer, Liao Dynasty, 4 3/4 inches long

Lot 1288 is certainly the cutest work of art in this auction.  A "rare and unusual" sancai-glazed ewer from the Liao Dynasty (907-1125) it depicts a mermaid.  It is 4 1/2 inches long and was formerly in the Simon Dwan Collection and it was exhibited twice at the Hong Kong Museum of Art.  It has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000.  It failed to sell.

Incense burner and dog

Lot 1218, bronze "hill" censer and cover, Han Dynasty, and bronze animal head fitting, Zhou Dynasty

The auction begins with 30 items, Lots 1201-1230, from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections.

Lot 1218 consists of a Han Dynasty bronze "hill" censer and cover that is 5 1/2 inches high and a Zhou Dynasty bronze animal head fitting that is 4 1/4 inches high.  The censer was formerly in the Ruth Dreyfus Collection and the animal head was formerly with J. T. Tai & Co.  The lot has an estimate of $3,000 to $5,000. It sold for $3,500.

Neolithic fragment

Lot 1210, Greyish-green and opaque bugg jade "toothed" pendant fragment, Neolithic Period, Honshan Culture, circa 3500-3000 B.C., 3 1/2 inches long

Lot 1210 is a wonderful greyish-green and opaque buff jace "toothed" pendant fragment from the Neolithic Period, Honshan Culture, circa 3500-3000 B.C.  It is 3 1/2 inches long.  It has been offered at the September 20, 2010 auction at Christie's New York with an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000 when it was passed.  This auction it has an estimate of $15,000 to $18,000.  It sold for $43,750.

Death mask

Lot 1217, Gilt-copper death mask, Liao Dynasty, (907-1125), 8 3/4 inches across

Lot 1217 consists of two gilt copper death masks from the Liao Dynasty, both about 8 3/4 inches across. Both objects came from J. T. Tai & Co., and the lot has an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.  It sold for $4,000.

Three lacquered wood court figures

Lot 1211, three lacquered wood court figures, Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.)., 20 inches tall highest

Lot 1211 consists of three lacquered wood court figures from the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.)  The tallest of the pieces is 20 inches high.  They call came from J. T. Tai & Co.  The lot has an estimate of $3,000 to $5,000.  It sold for $12,500.

 



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