Pair of Imperial Bronze Dragon Seals: Qianlong Marks and Period
This large pair of dragon handled bronze seals date from the period of Qianlong (1735-1795), emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in China.
The rectangular base measures 8 ½ inches by 7 ¼ inches (21.5 cm x 19.5 cm). The dragon handle stands up about 3 inches tall (8 cm.).
The top portions of the seals are covered with chiseled and engraved patterns of dragons and swirling lines representing the ocean or the sky. Standing on top of all this is the dragon handle.
The bottom of the seals are covered in archaic old Chinese pictogram script (see closeup photos). They also include traditional Chinese characters in one corner which are easily interpreted as Qianlong Reign Marks.
Some folks thought these might be paperweights because of their rather large size, compared to most seals of either bronze or jade. A recent article in the Jakarta Post referred to a very similar bronze seal as a “casted paperweight from the Qianlong Period”. See link below:
( http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/04/04/scholar-objects-undervalued-small-treasures.html )
These bronzes may have served double duty, with an original purpose yet to be determined by deciphering the archaic script and the possibility of also having been used as massive scroll weights.
The Emperor Qianlong had a serious interest in painting and was known to dabble in it himself on occasion. Some scrolls are exceptionally long and might have required a substantial scroll weight to keep them open for viewing (or possible two or more to hold the whole long thing open in the privacy of one's palace).
On April 4, 2010 , one identical bronze seal/scroll weight was sold at auction in China for the amount of RMB 651,200. (about $108,000.00 US ). The auction estimate had originally been 600,000-800,000 RMB (about $100,000-$130,000) for one single bronze seal.
The pair of bronze seals or scroll weights or “paperweights” are both in excellent condition. The buyer will not be disappointed.
They were purchased about 30 years ago in Southern California.
NOTE: Although the photos below make the the bronzes appear to be of different sizes , only the photos are of different sizes, not the bronzes themselves.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: THERE ARE A FEW VERY TINY SPOTS OF VERDIGRIS ON ONE OF THE SEALS . THIS IS NOT UNUSUAL FOR A BRONZE ITEM THAT IS OVER 200 YEARS OLD. IT IS REALLY NOT WORTH MENTIONING BUT WE ALWAYS LIKE TO HAVE FULL DISCLOSURE SO THERE ARE NO SURPRISES FOR THE BUYER.
This glazed ceramic seated Buddha measures 7 inches tall by 6 1/2 inches wide by about 5 inches in depth.
It consists of a blue glaze over buff ceramic. The glaze is a deep sky blue ranging to shades of turquoise and pooling to black in the crevices. The bottom has a very fine mesh pattern embedded in it that resembles linen. There are no marks of any kind on it.
This seated figure dates to the Kangxi period of the Ching Dynasty (1644-1911) or possibly earlier.
It is in excellent condition, period.
This jade carving of a Chinese lion, Chimera or Fu dog sits at an alert posture on all four paws.
It has a split or bifurcated tail and stylized wings.
It measures 2 1/2 inches by 1 7/8 inches by 1 1/4 inch (57 mm x 49 mm x 31 mm).
It is carved from a piece of off white to celadon colored jade with natural striations running through it. There is a natural brown irregularity which runs from it's foot to it's ear on one side along with a small area of brown suffusion on it's flank.
(This is the fancy way of saying it has few areas of rust. Not a bad thing for a genuine antique jade carving.)
We are dating this one to the Qing Dynasty, but it may actually be much earlier.
This antique Persian Silver vase measures 7 inches tall (17 cm) by 5 1/2 inches in diameter (14.5 cm).
It dates circa 1700-1850 or earlier.
It is finely engraved with alternating medallions of bird in an ornate floral landscape and medallions of symmetrical calligraphy. Between the medallions are additional engraved floral wreaths
There are three silver hallmarks on the base. The usual standard of Persian silver is .84 or 84/100 pure silver.
Condition is excellent except for a small bung (see enlargement). Overall, this is an outstanding work of art and much nicer than my poor photos would indicate. Any color changes in the photos are from the flash and not on the vase itself.
This antique silver cup was probably made from melted Spanish silver coins that came from silver produced in the mines of Mexico or South America, c. 1800-1860.
It has engraved and chiseled decorative borders and an applied handle in the shape if a two headed dragon.
It stands 3 1/2" in height, 4 1/4" across the handle and weighs 108 grams or 3.72 Troy ounces.
It is in excellent condition with no dents, losses or repairs.
It also has no marks or monograms and is guaranteed to be at least .900 pure (coin silver).
This carved jade dog in a reclining position measures 3.25 inches long by about 1.25 inches tall by 1.5 inches in depth.
It is carved from a piece of nephrite jade that has colors that range from off white and pale celadon to pale yellow and brown in areas.
It dates from the late 19th to early 20th Century in China.
It is in excellent condition with no damage or restoration.
Price on Request
This large bronze figure of Avalokitesvara dates somewhere between the Song Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty in China.
This figure represents one third of a Buddhist Triad, which may have originally been created as an altarpiece in a Buddhist temple.
This bronze figure measures 21 inches tall by 9 inches wide by 8 inches in depth. He/she is depicted wearing a Tang Dynasty upraised hair style and ornate robes and jeweled detailing.
It is in excellent condition with remnants of old gilt and colors remaining in areas. The head is completely covered with a layer of gold and the remainder is covered with a deep brown patina overall.
Traditionally, Avalokitesvara would sit on the left side of Amitabha Buddha in a three figure triad with Mahasthamaprapta sitting on the right side. There are engraved Chinese characterson the reverse side of it's base which translate as left two.
There are additional marks on the Gui held in front of the figure which may represent the date or the original donor of the bronze.
Since the side figures of a triad were smaller than the central figure,the central Buddha must have been fairly large. This fits with the theory of an origin in a temple or possibly a very wealthy home.
In Chinese Buddhism the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is also known as Guanyin. Among the Chinese, Avalokitesvara is almost exclusively called Guanshiyin Pusa. Some Daoist scriptures give her the title of Guanyin Dashi, and sometimes informally as Guanyin Fozu.
In Chinese Buddhism, the worship of Guanyin as a goddess by the populace is generally not in conflict with the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara's nature. In fact the widespread worship of Guanyin as a "Goddess of Mercy and Compassion" is seen as the boundless salvific nature of bodhisattva Avalokitesvara at work. The Buddhist canon states that bodhisattvas can assume whatsoever gender and form is needed to liberate beings from ignorance
This museum quality gilt bronze figure was purchased from an old collection of Asian antiques originally formed during the early portion of the 20th century.
The authenticity of this bronze is guaranteed without exception.
This pair of Chinese Seated Lions date from the 17th -19th Century or possibly a bit earlier.
These pottery or earthenware lions each measure about 9.5 - 10 inches tall by 6 inches wide by about 4 inches in depth.
They are in very good condition with only a small loss to one of the tails.
This ANTIQUE CHINESE EXPORT PEWTER FISH BOWL & COVER measures 8 1/2 inches by 7 inches by 4 inches.
It is in excellent condition with no evidence of restoration or repairs. It does have some tarnish and wear as would be expected on a soft pewter serving dish that is between 120-160 years old.
IT IS HALLMARKED ON BOTH THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL AND UNDER THE LID.
IT STILL RETAINS IT'S ORIGINAL GLASS EYES.
This outstanding quality Ding Yao covered ceramic box, although Song Dynasty in appearance, may actually date from the Ming or Ching Dynasty.
It measures 8 inches in diameter by about 3 inches in height.
The domed cover is incised with repeating leaf patterns around a central leaf set within a circle.
It is in excellent condition with a circular kiln fracture around the outside of the bottom rim (see enlargement photo). This is original to the piece and is not considered damage.
This Japanese Carved Wooden Mask measures 10 inches tall by 7 3/4 inches wide (ear to ear) by 4 inches in depth. It is also about 1 1/2 inches in thickness at center narrowing down to about 3/4 inch thick at edges.
It is carved from a tightly grained wood similar to those found in 19th century Japanese furniture.
It has a nice patina and retains traces of original pale maroon color in some areas.
It is in excellent condition and has wonderful parallel grooves over entire interior: most likely carving marks, but very finely detailed. They do not show up well in photos.
This Chinese Export or Chinoiserie lacquered wooden box measures 7 1/4 inches by 5 1/4 inches by 1 3/4 inches.
It dates from the late 18th century to middle 19th century.
It is hand painted with a scene of five figures in a pagoda and garden landscape. The figures are painted in gold over a black lacquer and wood base.
It is in very good condition except for a few very minor cracks and small losses to the lacquer.
Price on Request
This antique gilt bronze figure of Tara dates to 11th-12th century Nepal.
It measures approximately 12 inches tall (13 inches with custom wooden stand).
It is in outstanding condition, especially considering that it is over 900 years old.
NOTE: This 900+ year old bronze does have one condition issue:
The lotus flower on Tara's left shoulder is bent forward slightly and needs to be repositioned professionally.
It is a relatively simple and inexpensive process, but it should be done by someone with experience in such matters.
Just bending it back might have the unwanted effect of snapping it off. It needs to be heated, softened and gently moved back into place by a pro.
Tara is the most important goddess in the Buddhist pantheon.
She stands, gracefully and powerfully modeled in a hip-shot posture.
Her right hand is held in a gesture of varadamudra (fearlessness and wish granting).
Her left hand is held in a teaching gesture (vitarkamudra) while holding a lotus flower rising to her shoulder.
Her face has a serene expression with downcast eyes flanked by large earrings.
She is wearing a diaphanous dhoti rolled down to the waist. It is incised with floral patterns and secured with a jeweled sash inset with precious stones.
She also wears a jeweled neck piece, armbands and tiara enclosing her up swept hair.
Tara occupies a unique status in that she has mythological origins as a goddess, as a Bodhisattva and is also frequently viewed as a Buddha.
THIS IS A MUSEUM QUALITY BRONZE AND IT IS GUARANTEED TO BE AS DESCRIBED, WITH NO EXCEPTIONS.
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This Meiji period JAPANESE KUTANI BOWL measures 10 1/2 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep.
It is in excellent condition with slight wear to the gilding as would be expected .
It is signed on the bottom (see enlargement).
This triple ceramic dish with handle dates to the 19th through early part of the 20th century.
It is designed with a shape similar to a shamrock or three leaf clover.
It measures about 11 inches by 11 inches by about 4 inches tall.
It is hand painted with numerous designs of yellow daisies.
It is in excellent condition with losses to the gilding--primarily on the handle.
It appears to be European or Baltic in origin.
This may have originally been used as a relish or condiment dish.
There are no marks, makers names or country of origin. That in itself helps to date it to about circa 1900 or earlier.
This Chinese Export or English Chinoiserie lacquered box measures about 7 inches by 5 3/4 inches by 1 3/4 inches.
It dates from the late 18th-middle 19th century.
It is hand painted with a scene of eight figures in a pagoda and garden landscape. The figures are painted in gold over a black lacquer and wood base.
It is in very good condition except for a few very minor cracks and small losses to the lacquer.
This set of 5 matching porcelain dishes with flying cranes pattern dates from the late 19th through the early 20th Century in China.
Each dish measures about 6 1/8 inches in diameter.
The dishes are in generally good condition with minor edge roughness or rim frits as often found with this type of delicate thin porcelain.
The pattern of six flying cranes is transfer printed rather than hand painted: a type of detailing that became popular in the 19th century although it originated slightly earlier than that. In China it was used in the early 20th Century (Republic Period) and it's use ended about WWII.