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 jadeite carving measures about 3.5 x 5 inches by .5 inches in depth. It is in the shape of a rectangular plaque with slightly rounded edges.
It features a robed figure of Buddha holding a large lotus leaf while another figure kneels beside him.
This jadeite carving is in excellent condition .
It has colors that range from pale green to variegated colors that include a bright apple green, deep moss green and touches of emerald green.
The colors of the stone have been used to good effect to make the Buddha stand out on the obverse. On the reverse two large lotus leaves are framed utilizing the natural colors of the stone.
This museum quality silvered bronze Nepalese or Sino-Tibetan figure of Tara (also known as Kuan Yin or Guanyin) dates to the 14th to 15th century or earlier.
It stands 10 1/2 inches tall by 3 inches in diameter.
It has exquisite details and very subtle modeling.
It is in excellent condition and retains much of it's original silver finish.
A similar example can be seen in "Oriental Art: India, Nepal & Tibet" by Michael Ridley, 1970, Plate 37 (listed as 14th Century or earlier).
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 extremely old hardstone / jade bracelet dates from the Liangzhu Period (3300 BC-2200 BC).
It is a varigated black color with one spot of pale yellow green on the interior.
It is in excellent condition, even though its material has been been degraded over time (The scratch test only works on the green spot due to the degradation of the darker areas). It also has a crystal structure that can be seen under high magnification.
It has an outside diameter of 3 1/4 - 3 1/2 inches (8.5- 9 cm) and an interior diameter of 2 5/8 inches (6.6 cm). It is about 3/4 inch in width (1.8 - 2.0 cm). This is an outstanding piece and is similar in style to another burnt jade bangle of white chicken bone color in published works.
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 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 is an original pair of 18th-19th century wooden carvings of Chinese eunuchs or officials. Each one measures 8.5 inches tall, 3 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep (at the base). They are in good condition with most of the original painted detailing remaining on their faces and some painted details remaining in other areas, such as the hat, sash, and ceremonial jade disk held by one of them. One figure holds what appears to be a representation of an old ceremonial jade. These appear to have been tomb figures that lost much of their original colors.
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 nephrite jade carving of a naturalistic motif, possibly a squash or gourd.
It measures 2 inches long by 1 1/8 inches tall by about 1/2 inch in depth.
It dates to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)in China and is carved from a pale green celadon jade.
This original bronze figure of a seated and robed official holding a jui (symbol of power) measures 8 1/2 inches tall by 5 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches.
It is covered overall with a very subtle and dark patina. It has a softness of detail that only comes from hundreds of years of handling. It also has a few cracks and slight losses to it's surface that do not detract from it's overall appearance.
It dates to a period ranging from the 15th through the 17th centuries in China.
The buyer will not be disappointed, as it is nicer than the photos would indicate. This bronze figure is guaranteed to be an original ( of the period. It is NOT a copy or reproduction of any kind.
This Japanese painted bronze figure of Daikoku measures approximately 13.5 inches tall by 6 inches wide by 5 inches in depth.
It is a substantial bronze figure, weighing around 13+ pounds or about 6 kilos.
It is signed or marked on both the figure and the separate base of rice bales (see two of the enlargement pictures).
It dates from the late Meiji to Taisho Period (circa 1890-1912).
It is in excellent condition with most of it's original colored and patinated surfaces intact. An exception to this is the loss of a small triangular shaped piece which was apparently once attached at the figure's midsection (see photo enlargement of loss). This most likely was originally a separate attachment (see the drill hole?) in the shape of a small pouch (or treasure sack) which Daikoku traditionally carried.
Since the 17th century, Daikoku has been known as the Japanese god of wealth, the household and of farmers, although in earlier centuries he was considered a fierce protector deity (Mahakala).
In Japan, artwork of this deity usually shows him wearing a hood and standing on two bales of rice, carrying a sack of treasure and holding a magic mallet. Daikoku is often clad in robes, with a smile on his face.
In some traditions, Daikoku is also considered to be a provider of food, and images of him can still be found in monastery kitchens and in the kitchens of private homes. He is recognized by his wide face, smile, and a flat black hat.
He is often portrayed holding a golden mallet (called a Uchide Nokozuchi), also known as a magic money mallet, and is seen positioned on bales of rice, occasionally with mice nearby (mice signifying plentiful food).
Originally a Hindu deity called Mahakala, he was introduced to Japan in the ninth century, and merged with the Shinto deity of good harvests, Oo-kuninushi-no-Mikoto (or Okuninushi-no-Kami, translated as "Prince Plenty"). The lucky mallet in his right hand is called the uchide nokozuchi. This mallet is said to have magical properties that can produce anything desired when struck. Some stories say that coins fall out when he shakes his mallet. Others say that believers are granted their heart's desire by tapping a symbolic mallet on the ground three times and making a wish.
The symbol of the precious Buddhist Jewel, sometimes found on Daikoku's mallet or belt, represents the themes of wealth and unfolding possibility. It is said to give its holder the ability to see all things (like a crystal ball).
The precious jewel is one of the seven symbols of royal power in Buddhism. Daikokyu, himself is considered to be one of the seven household gods of Japan.
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 antique wooden mask is a representation of Mahakala.
It dates from the late 19th or earlier.
It is similar in style and iconography to masks from Nepal, Tibet or Sikkim.
It measures about 13 inches high by 9 inches wide.
It is in very good condition except for a few small cracks and losses to the wood. It has remnants of remaining overpaint in the crevices and recessed areas.
Comparables Note: a slightly larger mask with the original paint remaining is listed in Miller's Price Guide(2003) at $7,800-$9,400 (Sotheby's - NY)(see photo enlargement #4).
These two museum quality cloisonne enameled censors in the shape of cockerels or mythological birds are a matched pair.
Each one measures 17 inches tall by 13 inches wide by 6 inches in depth.
They are very ornate with fan tails.
Their large, ornate tails are removable, opening them for a possible use as incense burners.
They date from the Ching Dynasty (1644-1911).
They are in outstanding condition, period.
They are covered with double facing dragon and phoenix designs (the symbols of the emperor and empress). They also have archaic plant and bird designs overall.
NOTE: These are outstanding and much more impressive in person than the photos would indicate.
On May 30th, 2012 Christie's Hong Kong offered a pair of cloisonne roosters (14 inch tall) from the 18th century( Qianlong period) at an estimate of $370,000.00-$450,000.00. They were in a standing position -versus the position of repose of the pair we are offering.
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This original Ming Dynasty ceramic or stoneware tile with a figure of a seated Buddha measures about 6 3/4 x 9 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.
It is in very good condition with minor losses to the glaze in a few areas along with a few small rim chips.
Stylistically, it has more in common with Song Dynasty ceramics, but most likely it dates to the Ming Dynasty.
This architectural tile appears to have been designed to be mounted in the wall of a shrine or temple and has a pattern of large shaped dovetails on the reverse for that purpose (see enlargement photo).
This museum quality piece consists of very dense stoneware covered with colored glazes in turquoise, aubergine and yellow.
This Buddha tile dates from the Ming Dynasty or earlier.
A Few Facts:
The Shanyin Hall at the White Dagoba Temple was built or restored by the Qianlong emperor in 1751, 30 years after a large earthquake damaged the same area in Beijing.
Shanyin Hall currently has 445 Buddha tiles of similar style, but of later manufacture (probably circa 1976 -when it was last restored after the Tangshan earthquake.) (See the last photograph).
It may have have had tiles similar to the one we are offering prior to it's previous restorations in 1751 or 1976.
It is quite possible that this turquoise Buddha tile may be a remnant of one of those earlier changes or restorations.
We currently have in our collection a tile similar to the current tiles that are currently mounted in Shanyin Hall in Beijing. Our tile is marked with Wanli reign Marks (1573- 1619). This is not the tile we are offering with this lot. The one we are offering actually appears to be earlier than this Wanli tile, but it is unmarked.
We can't document it yet, but it is a serious possibility that this old Buddha tile dates to before 1619.
Our research shows that the original tiles were probably held in place with lime mortar-not the best thing to use in an earthquake zone.
This tile we offer here may have been salvaged from an old temple restoration or from a temple no longer in existence. This same area has seen earthquakes in 1679, again in 1730 and again in 1976-to name a few.
All of this is a combination of verifiable facts and speculation, but speculation based on observable and documented facts.
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This fine bronze ewer or kettle (aftaba) dates to the 18th Century in Wughal India.
It is of typical form and good weight. It measures: height: 26cm, width: 24cm.
It has a prominent faceted spout along with its original lid with a bud-like finial, an 'S' shaped handle which has a stylized lion head at one end and a lotus bud finial at the other. It stands on four short feet.
The flattened, globular pear shaped body tapers to a long neck. The body has been cast with raised cloud or foliage borders to the top and bottom, The design work on the body is of better quality than usually seen. The body, lid and spout have been engraved overall with repeated stylized vegetable or poppy motifs. The lid has similar patterns.
Ewers of this type originated in Persia and the Middle East. Typical Islamic ewers comprised a central chamber to which a spout, foot, handle and neck were attached. They permitted water to flow - notations in the Koran described flowing water as 'clean'.
Ewers were introduced to India by Muslim invaders during the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Later Indian inspired designs became more curvaceous and many were decorated with lush plant and floral motifs.
In India, local Muslims used such vessels for hand washing. They became a practical tool of hospitality, being used to welcome visitors by pouring scented water over the hands and feet and into a basin, and took on a great variety of shapes and types whilst adhering to the basic ewer form.
This example is in excellent condition. There are no repairs, splits or dents. as mentioned, the lid is original – usually the lid is missing or replaced.
A slightly larger (39.4 cm tall) sold at Sotheby's on October 5, 2011 for 6250 British pounds( $9784.00 in US dollars) (lot 265) . It had much less surface detailing. ( http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2011/arts-of-the-islamic-world/lot.265.html )
Provenance: The southern California art market prior to 1980.
Reference: Zebrowski, M., Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandria Press, 1997.
Currently At Auction
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 late Ming through early Qing Dynasty, but it may actually be earlier.