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 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 is an antique jade carving of a seated monkey holding a Peach (Late Ming to Qing Dynasty)
It is a finely polished blue grey nephrite jade with white jade areas utilized to accent the nose and extremities.
There are remnants of oxidation or calcification in the crevices.
This antique carved jade is in outstanding condition. It is an excellent example of 17th-19th century jade carving.
Subject is a seated monkey with a finger in his mouth, holding a peach
3 1/4 x 1 1/2 X 1 1/2 inches (79mm x 40mm x 42 mm)
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.
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 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.
This original 19th century wooden carving of a Chinese Emperor with gilded and polychrome details measures 11 inches tall, 5 3/4 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches deep. It is in outstanding condition with ornate detailing and symbols in high relief on it's golden robe.
The one exception to it's unusually good condition is the loss of one hand. The hair in it's beard is REAL.
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 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 Meiji period JAPANESE KUTANI VASE measures 7 inches in diameter and 11 inches tall. We date this one circa 1880-1910.
It is in excellent condition overall with the raised gilding in outstanding condition.
It is unsigned, but there is a hand painted mark on the bottom edge that looks like: I I I O .
This is a Tibetan copper & white metal/silver prayer box or portable shrine (Gao) with a small bronze figure of Ganesh inside.
It dates circa 1890-1930, or possibly earlier.
It also has stitched covers from the early to middle 20th Century.
The front cover is covered with wonderfully hand tooled images, including a Tibetan mythical beast or lion surrounded by Buddhist calligraphy, topped by a flame. The rest of the box is copper, under the protective, stitched cover.
It measures 5 inches tall by 4 1/4 inches wide by 1 1/2 inches in depth.
It is part of a small collection of antique Asian silver artifacts that were originally acquired together. Some of these items will also be offered for sale, now or at a later date.
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 is a small, antique Tibetan copper & white metal or silver prayer box and /or portable shrine (Gao) with a small gold colored seated Buddha statue inside.
It dates circa 1890-1930.
It measures 3 1/3 inches tall by 3 inches wide by 1 1/2 inches in depth.
The front cover is covered overall with wonderfully tooled reposse images, including a Tibetan beast or lion surrounded by Buddhist calligraphy, topped by a flame. The rest of the box is copper, under the protective, stitched cover.
It also has stitched covers from the early to middle 20th Century.
It is part of a small collection of antique Asian silver artifacts that were acquired a while ago. Please check our other listings to see additional items from this small but select collection that we are currently offering for sale.
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 small jade or hard stone carving of a stylized face measures 2.25 inches x 2.75 inches x 1.5 inches in depth.
It's colors range from a medium to dark green to a pale green with areas of translucence. It also has natural inclusions in the stone with areas of dark brown or off white oxidation.
It is carved in the style of old Olmec carvings, but it may be early 20th century. It may also be Chinese, rather than Latin American in origin, but neither origin has been documented yet.
It is unusual in that it has a mounting bracket extending from the reverse side. Similar brackets have been seen on occasion to allow for mounting as architectural components or as decorations in religious settings.
If this stylized carving actually is older than our estimate, it would be worth a great deal more than our asking price.
The mounting bracket would allow for this piece to be worn as a belt slide or buckle, or as a large pendant.
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).
This is an original antique Chinese carved lacquer cup.
It measures 2.75 inches in diameter and about 4.2 inches wide (including the Fu Lion handles on either side of the cup.)
It stands about 2 inches tall (measured from top to bottom.)
It has two robed figures seated on clouds set out against a repeating pattern.
This cup dates to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) or, quite possibly, even a bit earlier.
It is in excellent condition except for a tiny loss of lacquer on the interior lip of the cup (see closeup photo).
This cup was part of a small collection of Chinese carved lacquer purchased about 25 years ago from a private collection established in the early 20th century.
This is one of two similar cups that were part of the original collection. The cups were not a matching pair, but are of a very similar style. We will be offering the other cup later on.