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Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
Part 2


10 AM, March 24, 2011

Sale 2518/2527

Bronze figure of Zhenwu

Lot 1642, bronze figure of Zhenwu, Ming Dynasty, 15th-16th Century, 20 inches high

By Carter B. Horsley

This March 25, 2011 auction of Chinese works of art at Christie's New York is highlighted by a "magnificent" bronze figure of Zhenwu from the Ming Dynasty, 15th -16th Century.  The cover illustration of the auction catalogue, it is 20 inches high and has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000.  It sold for $2,210,500.

It was consigned by the India House Club Collection in New York and formerly was in the Willard D. Straight collection.  Mr. Straight in 1906 was appointed consul general at Mukden in Manchuria and then lived in Beijing before returning to the United States in 1912.  He was married to Dorothy Payne Whitney and they lived in a fine Georgian-style mansion on Fifth Avenue at 93rd Street that later become the International Center for Photography before being converted back to a single-family residence.  

Zhenwu rose to the height of his popularity during the Ming Dynasty.  The third Ming emperor, Yonge, credited Zhenwu fo rhelping him secure the throne andorder a massive temple at Wudang Shan, the place where Zhenwu is believed to have attained immortality and ascended to heaven.

Bronze figure of Lu Dongbin

Lot 1635, bronze figure of Lu Dongbin, Yuan/Early Ming Dynasty, 13th-14th Century, 13 inches high

Lot 1635 is a very rare gilt bronze figure of Lu Dongbin from the Yuan/Early Ming Dynasty, 13th-14th Century.  It is 13 inches high and has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.  Lu Dongbin is one of the eight immortals and is venerated by the Quanzhen sect of Daosim as its founding patriarch.  It sold for $182,500.

Seated Luohan

Lot 1720, Biscuit figure of  seated Luohan, Kangxi Period, 1662-1722, 10 inches high

Lot 1720 is a very attractive biscuit figure of a seated Luohan from the Kangxi Period, 1662-1722.  It is 10 inches high.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000.  It sold for $35,000.

Porcelain plaque

Lot 1831, Famille-rose porcelain plaque, second half 19th Century, 38 1/4 inches high

One of the more attractive lots in the auction is Lot 1831, a famille-rose porcelain plaque from the second half of the 19th Century.  It is 38 1/4 inches high and has immortals and their attendants amidst lush landscapes cavorting within the two characters.  It has a modest estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.  It sold for $80,500.

Green vase

Lot 1833, Iron-red decorated green and white enameled vase, 18th-19th Century, 23 1/8 inches high

Lot 1833 is an impressive iron-red decorated green and white enameled vase from 18th-19th Century.  It is 23 1/8 inches high.  It has a modest estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.  It sold for $470,500!


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