Schneible Fine Arts LLC

China Han dynasty bronze Money Tree

China Han dynasty bronze Money Tree


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1276741

Please refer to our stock # 249 when inquiring.
Schneible Fine Arts LLC
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China, a bronze “Money Tree” Yaoqian Shu with pottery base, 155cm, 62” high, Han dynasty (25 BCE – 220 CE)

a sculpted terracotta pottery base in the form of a tortoise with attendants and inserted with five individual bronze pole segments with twenty eight individual hanging bronze open work money “branches” attached in tiers, four per tier and topped with a figure of a bronze phoenix as apex most bearing varying degrees of malachite and azurite encrustation from ancient burial. Formerly exhibited “Asia Week” New York City, Fuller Building, Zabriskie Gallery, 2008.

Provenance: ex New York City collection

In the late Han Dynasty tombs of western China, money was created as heavenly offerings to grow on trees insuring that the deceased’ needs would be met in afterlife. Large money trees are made of two sections: a sculptural pottery base and a bronze tree, whose molded, open work branches are intricately decorated with coin motifs, mythological animals such as deer who are associated with the magic elixir, images of Xiwangmu (Queen Mother of the Western Paradise and holder of secret immortality) and other Daoist symbols and immortals such as monkeys who try to steal the elixir. Because of the extraordinarily fine, open-work bronze designs, few money trees have survived totally in tact. Our research indicates that only a hundred or so exist in tact worldwide, primarily in institutional collections. Various complete money trees are known, but with few exceptions the elaborate bronze upper part, cast with numerous branches suspended with coins, is broken into numerous pieces.

A complete one in good condition is illustrated by Rawson, Mysteries of Ancient China, p.177, No.87, which was excavated in Pengshan county, Sichuan province.

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Please come visit us in 2015 for these annual exhibitions "Treasures from Asia":

March 11-15, Boston Flower Show, Boston, MA

June 15-Oct 12, Maine annual Summer Exhibition "Treasures from Asia" 149 Main St, Northeast Harbor, Me 04662 (Mount Desert Island, just 15 minutes from Bar Harbor)

Details: (802) 279-7601 or email: acgdoug@aol.com