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Tour de Force Large Tibetan Covered Bowl

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All Items: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Pre 1920: item # 1174587

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Tour de Force Large Tibetan Covered Bowl
The Art and Orchid Gallery's antique large Tibetan bowl with cover is multimedia and probably multi-cultural . It is an unusually skillful, ingenious and creative mixture of decorative motifs and techniques. It has the typical ambiguity of provenance one finds in objects of "Tibetan Art".[187A] This exemplary creation exhibits Chinese brightly enameled metals over Indian repousse copper lotus designs and appliques of carved semi-precious stones, characteristic of Nepalese craftsmen.[73B, 162C, 145D] The core of the bowl and cover is wood to which copper and brass metalwork has been either applied with nails or encased. The interior of the bowl and cover is cased in brass, whereas the exterior has been decorated in copper and brass metals. The ornamentation on the top of the cover begins with repousse heavy copper Indian lotus scroll motif which was bright enameled in 4 colors on the relief structures. The concave copper ground was pickled to match the stained wood color. This gives the effect of relief against wood, that is pierced. However, this copper cap is one piece, probably soldered enameled handle.[162E, 73B] Halfway down the cover are four appliques made of rope filigree, sometimes alone but generally holding turquoise, coral and lapis cabochons.[63F] The lip of the cover is a vertical band of joui head design in 4 color enamel.[3G] Meeting the band is enameled on copper, the characteristic symbols of eight 'pahsien' (Taoist Immortals). The enamel crafters fine painting allows you to easily pick out Han Hsiang-tzu's flute; LuTung-pin's sword, etc. [42H] Hammer-and-punch chasing of small rings on the pickled copper is the ground for these enamel patterns. The very outside of the lip begins the brass work fitted to a second brass vertical which closely seats inside the bowl, preventing it from slipping off. The entire interior of the cover is smoothly lined with this brass. It has been pickled dark brown to match the wood color.[162 I] The bowl interior is also pickled brown patina brass but the bottom has a fine elaborately chased pattern of a dragon in clouds. The pattern is completed with a rope and plain circular fillets; then conventionalized Chinese wave design (see photo).[42J] Moving outside the bowl, the brass is soldered to a repousse copper ring enameled in blue and white banana leaf motif.[42K] The base of the bowl is covered with more elaborate polychromed enameled repousse copper art. It starts with a band of tiny joui heads and beads, rope fillet (just chased). Probably the finest enameling over repousse relief is exhibited here with the "Eight Happy Omens of Buddhism" all attached with ribbons endowing the eight objects with supernatural powers.[42L] Easiest to recognize is the double fish symbol of faithfulness and plenty (see photo). The foot lip is covered with alternating cabochons held with double rope molding in turquoise and coral. Finally, soldered to the bottom is a repousse circular plate with deep relief, and chasing on the relief and the ground. Center most, the bottom pattern depicts the yin-yang symbol. Clouds of smoke and other symbols emanate from this center. This covered bowl obviously exhibits the highly eclectic styles and techniques of the surrounding countries of Tibet and does so with exemplary craftsmanship. Age: 19th Century. References available upon request. Size: ~ 7 1/2" H x 8 1/2"; Weight: ~ 3 1/2 pounds;

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