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.
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.
This antique Burmese Shan bronze figure of a crowned Jambhupati Buddha measures approximately 22 inches tall by 8 inches wide by 7 inches in depth.
It is in excellent condition except for a few areas where the casting has either thinned out or was thin to begin with. Even so, this is a heavy, well detailed bronze with a nice patina.
This bronze Buddha was purchased many years ago and is part of our personal collection of ancient Asian artifacts acquired between 25-40 years ago..
We estimate it to date to the 18th -19th century, but it may actually be somewhat earlier. This is a museum quality bronze and the next owner will not be disappointed.
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.
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 unusual painted lacquer and carved Shibiyama panel measures about 15 1/4 inches by 12 inches by 1/2 inch thick. It has an outstanding pattern of carved and inlaid pieces creating a finely detailed picture of birds and flowers on a deep sky blue oval background. It is surrounded by raised gilt and vermillion lacquer paintings of fruit and plants.
It dates to the late 19th century or Meiji Period in Japan.
It has an inset, carved rectangle with the artist's signature in the lower left corner of the blue lacquer oval.
It may have originally been the cover to a book or woodblock print album.
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 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 blue glazed on buff colored ceramic or pottery figure of a seated Buddha measures just over 4 inches tall by 2 1/2 inches wide by 1 1/4 inches in depth.
It is in excellent condition with the glaze pooling to black in the crevices.
It dates to the Qing (Ching) Dynasty (1644-1911).
This hand painted ceramic vase measures about 10 inches (24.5 cm)tall by 5 inches (13 cm) in diameter at it's widest point.
It dates circa 1870-1900 (during the late Meiji Period) in Japan.
It is in excellent condition with virtually all of the high relief gilding intact.
This original carving of a Chinese lions and cub.
It dates from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Each one holds a lingzhi in its mouth.
It measures about 55 mm x 41 mm x 20 mm ( 2.1 x 1.5 x .75 inches)
It is carved from a uniformly pale celadon jade.
This seated bronze Buddha in Sukhothai style most likely dates from the 16th to 18th century in Thailand. It may actually be earlier. but we prefer to be conservative in estimations .
It measures 16 inches tall by about 11 inches wide by 7 inches in depth.
It is in very good condition with areas of green patination and overall oxidation in various shades of pale to rusty brown. It has a few areas of casting loss, particularly on one end of the base (see the photo close ups). It also has a few areas where the bronze has either thinned out or pitted (again, primarily on the reverse of the base,)
The history of Thai sculpture dates from sometime during the thirteenth century, when a distinct national school emerged and broke away from Cambodian and Mon influences in terms of the stylistic development of Buddha images. Specific schools and sub-styles are defined on the basis of relatively slight variations in the prescribed dress, the treatment of the hair and so on.
This Buddha is seated on an undecorated pedestal in the cross-legged yogic posture of satvaparyankasana, the right leg placed over the left. His right hand is lowered, long fingers pointing downward in the earth touching gesture. The latter symbolizes Shakyamuni's triumph over the forces of the demon Mara, who attempted to distract him from his quest for enlightenment, a ubiquitous theme in Thai Buddhist art. The Buddha's monastic robe is worn leaving his right shoulder bare, and a long thin section of cloth representing his narrowly folded shawl falls downs from his left shoulder to below his navel terminating in two points.
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.
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.
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This antique bronze figure of Mahakala measures 10 inches wide by 12 inches tall by 3 inches in depth (at it's widest points)
It dates from 17th to 18th century Nepal or Tibet (circa 1600's-1700's)
It is in very good condition with remnants of gilt along with green verdigris (oxidation). Note: the bronze is slightly loose on its base. This does not affect it when placed against a wall.
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 original carved "oosik" or penis bone measures about 11 inches long by 1 inch wide by 1 1/2 inches in depth at it's wide at the base.
Although it has the appearance of ivory, it is actually carved from heavily fossilized walrus penile bone. It is much harder than traditional ivory and as such has been used by native people for generations to producing knives and important implements.
This is likely a fertility totem in as much as it has a hooded woman riding a phallus with the raven and a stylized bear above her.
A work of this quality would have taken a great deal of time talent and effort to create.
The workmanship and details of the carving are outstanding and can honestly be described as museum quality.
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.