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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 antique majolica bowl on an ornately detailed bronze stand measures 17 inches wide by 15 inches tall by 7 1/2 inches in depth.
It dates circa 1760-1840. It is European, and most likely French in origin.
It is in outstanding condition, period. The majolica bowl is in excellent condition with no chips or losses, although there is a lovely crackle to the glaze on the interior of the bowl. The bronze mounts retain much of their original gilding, with no apparent repairs to their delicate, almost spiderweb designs.
This ancient Roman two handled glass vase is in excellent condition. It has no damage, repairs or restoration.
It measures about 4 3/4 inches tall by 3 5/8 inches in diameter at it's widest point.
It has applied glass handles which have been referred to by some as "Dolphin Handles".
It has areas of wear and iridescence overall.
It has parallel striations down the neck below the wide lip.
This is a museum quality glass vase that we have had in our personal collection for about forty years.
This Chinese ceramic or porcelain charger measures 15-15.25 inches in diameter. It measures about 2.5 inches in depth.
It dates to the Qing Dynasty in China (1644-1911).
It is hand painted in the Famille Rose palette and design.
It has a black ground border with green scrolling leaves and foliage and rose to pink colored flowers.
The level of detail and the quality of the painting is exceptional.
It is in outstanding condition with no repairs or restoration. It has an amazing clear ring and there are no hidden or hairline cracks.
NOTE: It does have a small number of tiny flake losses to the painting. They are not significant and can be seen in the photographs- if you look closely. They do not detract from it's overall appearance.
This has been in our personal collection for well over thirty years.
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 forest green glazed Kochi ware vase with handles measures 12 cm tall by 12 cm in diameter by 19 cm wide (handle to handle). It most likely dates to the beginning of the 20th century. The glaze pools dark green in the crevices.
There are NO marks or signatures on this vase.
It is in excellent condition. No chips, cracks, hairlines, repairs, etc. It does have a few very light surface scratches to the glaze. There are four round felt pads on the bottom of the vase (see enlargement photos).
The glaze is even and complete. Any white spots or lines are from the flash and are NOT on the vase itself.
Japanese Awaji ware was influenced by or copied after, Chinese Cochin ware: a 16th century pottery originally produced in Southern China or Vietnam. It consisted primarily of green glazed wares with low relief decoration* (*Ceramic Art of Japan, Seattle Art Museum, Page 164)(CAJ).
Another theory about the origin of Cochi or Cochin ware is that it was carried from China to South East Asia (modern Day Vietnam and Thailand) during the Song or Yuan Dynasty . In 1206 the Mongolian tribes met and agreed to unite under Genghis Khan. In 1215 Genghis Khan captured Beijing. In 1279 Kublai Khan, his grandson, completed the Quest of China, ending the Song Dynasty. The Yuan dynasty that they created lasted from 1279 to 1368 (1368- 1644 A.D. Ming dynasty). Faced with Mongol rule artists, potters, merchants and exporters left China and set up their operations in Vietnam and Thailand. The Sung kiln and glaze technologies were transferred to Vietnam. Bat Trang (in Vietnam) prospered and continued to do so as the Ming dynasty maintained a closed-door policy until 1567. It was not until 1684 that the Chinese competed effectively with Vietnamese ceramics exporters. By this time Vietnamese pottery had achieved such popularity in Japan that even the Japanese potters produced ceramics in the Vietnamese style, which they called Cochi or Kochi ware. During the late Edo Period there was a fashion among Kyoto potters (including Eiraku Hozen, Ogata Kenzan, and Aoki Mokubei) to emulate the Chinese wares of the 16th century, especially the export blue and white, gosu-akae, and Kochi ware** (**CAJ-pg 158).
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This bronze figure of Jambhala (also known as Vaisravana) measures about 11.5 inches tall by 9 inches wide by 5 inches in depth (including the bronze lotus mount and lion that it sits on).
He is commonly considered to be the god of wealth and protector of the north, riding on a lion.
A mongoose sits on a lotus under his left foot.
His right hand holds a citron or lemon (a symbol of fertility).
The character of Jambhala or Vaisavana is founded upon the Hindu deity Kubera, but although the Buddhist and Hindu deities share some characteristics, each of them has different functions and associated myths.
Although brought into East Asia as a Buddhist deity, Vaisravana has become a character in folk religion and has acquired an identity that is independent of the Buddhist tradition .
Vaisravana is the guardian of the northern direction, and his home is in the northern quadrant of the topmost tier of the lower half of Mount Sumeru. He is the leader of all the yaksas who dwell on the Sumeru's slopes.
He is often portrayed with a yellow face.
He is also sometimes displayed with a mongoose, often shown ejecting jewels from its mouth.
The mongoose is the enemy of the snake, a symbol of greed or hatred; the ejection of jewels represents generosity.
In Tibet, Vaisravana is considered a worldly dharmapala or protector of the Dharma, a member of the retinue of Ratnasambhava.
He is also known as the King of the North. As guardian of the north, he is often depicted on temple murals outside the main door.
He is also thought of as a god of wealth. As such, he is sometimes portrayed carrying a citron(a type of lemon), the fruit of the jambhara tree, a pun on another name of his, Jambhala . The fruit helps distinguish him iconically from depictions of Kuvera.
He is sometimes represented as corpulent and covered with jewels.
His mount is a snow lion.
This intricate bronze has much of it's original over painting remaining on the faces of both Jambala and his mount. There is a large amount of gilding applied to jeweled portions and accent details. This was a style of decoration that was popular during the later portion of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and also occasionally during the early portion of the Qing Dynasty( 1644-1912).
We estimate this antique bronze to date to the 17th or 18th century, but it may be a bit earlier than that.
This antique bronze is in excellent condition, with one exception. It sits on three mount pins that extend into the sealed lotus base. One of these pins has broken off and is apparently roaming around within the base itself. Sitting on two pins rather than three has had no adverse effect on it's stability whatsoever.
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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 antique bronze figure of the Monkey God Hanuman measures 5 x 4 x 1 1/2 inches (13 x 10 x 3 cm).
It is in excellent condition.
This ancient bronze figure was most likely crafted in Northern India, Tibet or Nepal.
We are dating it to the 17th - 18th century, although it may actually be much earlier, based on it's stylistic similarities with small Pala period bronze figures.
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 blue & white ceramic bottle or jar measures 9 inches tall by 3 1/4 inches in diameter.
It is hand painted with scenes in cobalt blue on a white ground.
It is in excellent condition with a few natural fissures and irregularities to the glaze (see close up photos).
We estimate it to date circa 1700-1900.
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 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).
These two bronze figures date from the 17-18th century or earlier.
Each one represents either Mahakala or Samantabhadra standing on a prostrate human figure surrounded by a ring of fire and wearing a garland of severed human heads.
Each measures about 8 inches tall by 5 inches wide.
Both are in excellent condition except for a small square opening on the back of one.
This 19th century Japanese carved ivory okimono measures approximately 9 inches tall by 2 1/2 inches in diameter at it's widest point.
It is intricately carved with fully delineated scales and teeth on the fish. The figure riding a fish is carved from one solid walrus tusk and it sits on a separate oval section as a base. The crystalline pattern that is so indicative of walrus ivory can be seen in many places on the carving, including Kinko's robe (interior front left) and the belly of the carp or koi.
It dates from the Meiji Period in Japan (circa 1870-1900).
It is in very good condition with some stabilized antique ivory fractures as are seen on many of these okimonos that are well over 100 years old.
Japan originally imported and adapted many Taoist and Buddhist teachings from China, which were then combined with native Shinto beliefs.
One Taoist figure incorporated into Japanese artwork was Kinko, a holy hermit. He is often depicted mounted on the enormous carp that carried him to the Undersea Kingdom. There, sea creatures taught him that all life is sacred.
In Japan the carp (koi) is also a symbol of persistence, longevity, and fertility. Land-locked farmers have kept carp in their ponds to provide food for centuries and also bred them for their beautiful colors.
This nephrite jade carving is a pale celadon to yellow jade altered to brown overall.
It appears to have been buried for an extended period of time, based on the level of alteration or oxidation.
We conservatively estimate that this antique nephrite jade dates to the late 19th - early 20th century.
It may actually be much older. Please view the detailed photos carefully.
The buyer will not be disappointed.
It measures 80 mm x 45mm x 12 mm in depth.
It is in very good condition with the exception of a slight loss to one wing tip, which appears to have happened ages ago because it shows wear and toning consistent with the rest of the carving.
The shape of the tail is unusual in that it looks like a sea monster . Without its pointed beak, it could be mistaken for a dragon or a kylin.
This Japanese ceramic figure of Kannon measures 17 inches tall and about 6 inches in diameter at its widest point.
It has four incised marks on it's base, two Kutani marks and two potters mark (see closeup photo).
It dates to the Meiji Period in Japan. Kwannon is also known as Kannon or Kwan Yin and Guanyin in China.
It is in outstanding condition with no flaws, cracks, chips or losses.