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Chinese Ceramics and Asian Works of Art

by Dreweatts & Bloomsbury


84 lots with images

November 11, 2013

Live Auction

24 Maddox Street

London, W1S 1PP United Kingdom

Phone: 0203 291 2832

Fax: 01635 553599

Email: info@bloomsburyauctions.com

84 Lots
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A Chinese rosewood altar table, 19th century, the

Lot 1: A Chinese rosewood altar table, 19th century, the

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Description: A Chinese rosewood altar table, 19th century, the rectangular top above a frieze carved in relief with peaches, melons,pomegranates, grapes and ruyi heads, on square section legs, 104cm high, 207cm wide. Melons, pomegranates and grapes were conceived in China as underscoring auspicious wishes for fertility, due to their intrinsic nature of bearing multiple seeds; peaches and ruyi, on the other hand, underscored wishes for immortality, with the peach reminiscent of the garden of the Queen Mother of the West and the ruyi meaning "as you wish". For reference on auspicious symbolism see Jessica Rawson, The auspicious universe, in China: the three emperors, 2006, p. 356-378;Ellen Johnston Laing, Auspicious motifs in ninth- to thirteenth-century Chinese tombs, in Ars Orientalis

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A Chinese black lacquered side table, late Qing

Lot 2: A Chinese black lacquered side table, late Qing

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Description: A Chinese black lacquered side table, late Qing period, with a short, indented frieze, carved with gilded, openwork design of foliage, grape and squirrels to the short, the apron similarly decorated with interlocking, archaistic designs interspersed with auspicious motifs such as bats, floral scrolls and trailing foliage, continuing into the square section of the legs, 95cm high, 108cm wide. Known as songshu (literally 'pine tree mice') squirrels in China are associated with longevity and, to further enhance such an auspicious connotation, during the Qing dynasty, they were frequently found in association with grapes, which is a homophone for peaches, taozi, another longevity symbol, and decorated various items such as snuff bottles, small carvings and porcelain wares. For reference see Patricia B. Welch, Chinese Art: A Guide to Visual Imagery, p. 53 and 144.

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A Chinese centre table, Qing dynasty, the

Lot 3: A Chinese centre table, Qing dynasty, the

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Description: A Chinese centre table, Qing dynasty, the rectangular top inset with a pink marble panel and inlaid with metal trailing foliage designs, the shaped apron and surmount finely carved with foliate bands comprised of interlocking acanthus leaf scrolls flanked by floral sprays and archaistic scrollwork continuing into the square-section legs terminating in scroll-toed feet, 84cm high, 105cm wide

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A Chinese black lacquered altar table, late Qing

Lot 4: A Chinese black lacquered altar table, late Qing

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Description: A Chinese black lacquered altar table, late Qing period, with a short, indented frieze, carved with gilded, openwork, interlocking, geometric designs, floral scrolls to the frieze, the apron similarly decorated with foliate bands flanked by floral sprays, archaistic vessels and scrollwork continuing into the square section of the legs, 104cm wide, 207cm wide

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A Chinese rosewood low table, late 19th-early 20th

Lot 5: A Chinese rosewood low table, late 19th-early 20th

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Description: A Chinese rosewood low table, late 19th-early 20th century, the panelled top above a pierced fret and stylised cloud scroll frieze

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A pair of Chinese rosewood marble mounted

Lot 6: A pair of Chinese rosewood marble mounted

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Description: A pair of Chinese rosewood marble mounted armchairs, 19th-20th century, carved throughout with foliage and flower heads, thepierced back and seat mounted with panels of grey variegated marble, cabriole legs

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A pair of Chinese black wood armchairs 19th-20th

Lot 7: A pair of Chinese black wood armchairs 19th-20th

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Description: A pair of Chinese black wood armchairs 19th-20th century, carved with intricate foliate design, the back with confronting dragons amid scrolling clouds, enclosing a mother of pearl panel depicting figures amid a riverside scene, cabriole legs, 95cm high, 49cm wide

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A painting of Boshisattva Avalokitesvara, walking

Lot 8: A painting of Boshisattva Avalokitesvara, walking

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Description: A painting of Boshisattva Avalokitesvara, walking on a lotus pond with alarge halo behind him, the eyes glancing down to watch over the world,wearing a light, flowing, gossamer shawl, strings of pearls and precious gems, holding a flask and a willow branch respectively in the left and right hand, ink and colour on silk, 160 x 85cm. First mentioned in the translation of the Lotus Sutra, a Buddhist text composed between the 1st century BC and 1st century AD, Avalokitesvara could take either a male or female form, adult or child, human or non- human being, to teach the Dharma to sentient beings. The occurrence of a small image of Amithaba on the headdress of the deity suggests a connection with the attendant who escorted the souls of the righteous the the Pure Land inhabited by Amithaba Buddha, according to the Amida Sutra (3rd century AD), and with the successor of Amithaba mentioned in the Amitayurdhyana Sutra. The facial hair would seem to indicate the influence of a style of portraiture that predated the 13th century, when Guanyin was generally portrayed with male attributes. The water flask and the willow branch, traditionally appearing in China as iconographical attributes of Guanyin, from at least the 6th century, have been examined in connection with Avalokitesvara as the Lord of the Universe, Lokesvara: the ablution vessel, representing the conversion of Maytreya from Brahamism, being a symbol of the magic universe where the priest operates, and the willow branch, symbolic of the lotus shoot, being a cosmic and spiritual force of the universe.. For reference see Roderick Whitfield, Art of Central Asia: The Stein, vol. 3, 1982-85); Dorothy Wong, Guanyin images in Medieval China, 5th to 8th centuries, 2007; Martin Palmer, Kuan Yin. Myths and Prophecies of the Chinese Goddess of Compassion, 1995; John Blofeld, Bodhisattva of Compassion. The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin, 1988.

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A Chinese underworld painting, 19th century,

Lot 9: A Chinese underworld painting, 19th century,

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Description: A Chinese underworld painting, 19th century, depicting a scene from the theatrical play Wang Kui fu Gui Ying, featuring the official Wang Kui before the judge of hell, awaiting judgement for betraying his wife Guiying, and three other underworld paintings. Provenance: Private European Collection.. A rare visual document of a now lost Southern Song play of the nanxi genre, dealing with love, disillusion and vengeance, the hell of Wang Kui is one of the few underworld paintings surviving from Imperial China. It was executed in the same format employed to depict the Ten Hades of Hell, on which the underworld bureaucracy was thought of being structured in China beginning from the 9th-10th century AD. In these paintings, the sinners were brought before the judge of hell, who appeared behind an elevated table with a brush stand and a box of bamboo sticks inscribed with the number of strokes to be meted out in punishment for crimes. Jessica Rawson notes how an initial Chinese belief in the existence of a judging afterworld, dating to the 5th century BC, was later enriched with the conception of an underworld bureaucracy similarly structured as that on earth, following the development of correlative theories linking the events on heaven with those on earth. Several stories dealing with dead people leaving their tomb, crossing the boundaries between the living and the dead, and transacting affairs with the world, became widely diffused and gathered in an 8th century compendium. Similarly, in tombs, documents dealing with inventories addressed to the spirits have been excavated in sites dating to the 5th century BC; and land deeds expressing anxiety of worldly contractors with regard to the possible conflicts between the deceased and the subterranean administration, have been unearthed from tombs dating from the Han dynasty onwards. In addition, plays dealing with love, fidelity and filial values were performed in temples, ancestral halls and pleasure districts and images of these plays, such as the present one, along with those of exemplary figures were pasted on the walls of these premises to encourage the cultivation of moral values. Examined in this context, therefore, this painting constitutes an important testament illumining on the neo-Confucian view on learning by which true worth was defined by the "degree of one's success" in realizing the moral nature that was common to all, rather than achieving a successful professional career, which must have clearly been deemed of paramount importance in 19th century China. For comparable paintings of the Ten Hells see The National Palace Musuem, Taipei, Ten Kings of Hades, 1984, which illustrates works dating from the 19th century.. For references on studies on Chinese underworld bureaucracy and the role of theatres in Medieval China see Jessica Rawson, Changes in the representation of life and the afterlife as illustrated by the content of tombs of the T'ang and Song period, 1996; Llamas, Regina, Retribution, Revenge and the ungrateful scholar in Early Chinese southern drama, 2007; Stephen Teiser, Having once died and returned to life': representations of hell in Medieval China; Teiser, Ghosts and ancestors in Medieval Chinese religion, 1987; Anna Seidel, Traces of Han religion in funeral texts found in tombs, 1987.

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A Chinese painting of Guanyin crossing the Sea

Lot 10: A Chinese painting of Guanyin crossing the Sea

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Description: A Chinese painting of Guanyin crossing the Sea with her two acolytes , The White Parrot and San Chai, 19th century, ink, colour and gold on paper, 160 x 85cm Provenance: Private European Collection.. The painting was undoubtedly drawn from The Precious Scroll of the Parrot, Yingge Baozhuan of the Tang dynasty, which was recited in religious assemblies observing the cult of Guanyin. Having been captured whilst searching for food for his ill mother, the parrot was captured and later released to find that its mother had already died and thus becomes an emblem of filial piety. As in the painting, the end of the scroll describes the parrot as carrying a rosary in its beak, as it flies towards Guanyin and Shancai who are sailing back towards the Purple Grove, Guanyin's preaching site. For references see Chunfang Yu, Kuan-yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara, 2000; Wilt L. Idema, The Filial Parrot in Qing Dynasty Dress: A Short Discussion of the Yingge baojuan (Precious Scroll of the Parrot), 2002, p. 77-96.

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Fei Yi Geng (d. 1870), Ladies of the four seasons,

Lot 11: Fei Yi Geng (d. 1870), Ladies of the four seasons,

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Description: Fei Yi Geng (d. 1870), Ladies of the four seasons, 19th century, and four wood frames A set of four framed hanging scrolls, ink and colour on silk, 131cm high and 32.5cm wide, one signed to 1864. Provenance: Private UK Collection.. For a comparable example see Fei Yigeng, Ladies of the Four Seasons (lot 325), sold at Christie's Hong Kong on 31 October 2004, for $12,347.

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A Chinese bronze lotus leaf shaped bowl with 4

Lot 12: A Chinese bronze lotus leaf shaped bowl with 4

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Description: A Chinese bronze lotus leaf shaped bowl with 4 lotuses emerging from underneath, on a lotus stand on which sits a frog, 2 smaller lotus leaves a lotus bud and lotus pod, 11.5cm long Provenance: Private UK Collection.

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A Chinese bronze hand warmer, Ming-Qing dynasty,

Lot 13: A Chinese bronze hand warmer, Ming-Qing dynasty,

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Description: A Chinese bronze hand warmer, Ming-Qing dynasty, carved, on the lid, with scholars amid a garden setting, the sides incised with mountanious landscapes, the base inscribed with "Made by Zhang Mingqi", 15cm long, 8cm high, 13cm deep

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A pair of Chinese cloisonne cormorants, 19th-early

Lot 14: A pair of Chinese cloisonne cormorants, 19th-early

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Description: A pair of Chinese cloisonne cormorants, 19th-early 20th century, with slender form, the head surmounted by a red crest, the body enamelled in white with gilt outlines, standing sturdily with their webbed feet detailed with scale designs, 72cm high. Sharing physical and behavioural features with the cranes, the cormorants may have been charged with the same symbolism of their slender counterpart, conceived in connection with immortality beliefs. As birds with a long life span, cranes were associated with longevity, immortality and wisdom, especially following the rise of Daoism from the Han dynasty. We may recall the flying cranes appearing on the domed ceiling of the tomb of Wang Chuzhi of the Five Dynasties and the high-ranking tombs of the Liao, and the frequent occurrence of cranes in relation to the miraculous rebirth as immortal beings in vernacular literature dating from the 12th century. Cranes were also praised for their ability to dance to music and described in the Ruiying tu of the 6th century BC as gathering around the legendary Yellow Emperor as he practiced music on Kunlun mountains, accompanying scholars as they played music in Tang and Song paintings and appearing in official celebrations and gatherings. Accompanying the rites, music provided a moral and physical definition to a dynastic rule. In this context, therefore, cranes were interpreted as heavenly indicators of the emperor s benevolence and sage governance. It may not be incidental that the word for crane is in fact homophone with the Chinese word for harmony he. Cranes became even more closely related to a successful reign/emperor during the prosperous period of Northern Song Emperor Huizong (r. AD 1100-1126) as the search for auspicious images increased and the Xuanhe ruilan ce , comprising some thousand volumes recording auspicious sightings, was compiled. During this time, cranes appeared as pennants and employed as part of the imperial regalia that accompanied many official affairs on the court. Cranes also appeared in many Song court paintings. Cranes above Kaifeng , in particular, has been attributed to or commissioned by Emperor Huizong. The work depicts twenty cranes appearing in flight above the Golden Gate to the Imperial Palace on the 3rd day of the Lantern Festival - believed to be 26th February 1126) as if sent by Heaven to sanction and celebrate one of the most glorious days of Huizong s reign when the court was at its highest splendour and the emperor was united with his subjects as they wished him longevity for the year to come. It may therefore be little surprising that cranes were also ubiquitously found at the court of the Qing emperors, especially that of Qianlong (AD 1735-1795), emperor known for his virtuousness and appreciation of antiquity. In this instance, cranes not only appeared in paintings but even three-dimensionally as components of miniaturised immortal palaces made of jades, agate and other precious stones and in greater size flanking the imperial throne. Viewed in this light, therefore, the cormorants, such as those featured in this catalogue, may not only have served a highly visual appealing purpose, but in much the same way as the glorious emperors of the past, have also embodied the contemporary brilliance of the Chinese Empire. For an account on the interpretation of cranes at the court of Huizong see Peter Sturman, Cranes above Kaifeng: The Auspicious Image at the Court of Huizong, 1990. For the occurrence of cranes during the Han dynasty see Anna Seidel, Post-Mortem Immortality or The Taoist Resurrection of the Body, 1987.

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A pair of Chinese scholar's walnuts, Ming/Qing,

Lot 15: A pair of Chinese scholar's walnuts, Ming/Qing,

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Description: A pair of Chinese scholar's walnuts, Ming/Qing, 3.5cm diameter Provenance: Private UK Collection.. Walnuts were highly praised by the scholarly the scholarly elites of Imperial China for their auspicious reference to nature, rocks and mountains. For their natural formation of natural cavities, walnuts were reminiscent of mountains, whose naturally high peaks and ability to produce water, the life giving element, from the clouds swirling around them, provided the closest connection with heaven. In the burial context, burial chambers and incense burner shaped as miniature mountains were incorporated into an elaborate decorative program that presented the deceased with the immortal realm they were expected to reach. During the period of political turmoil and disunion, following the collapse of the Han dynasty, images of literary hermits portrayed within mountainous settings begun to surface in literatures, tombs and paintings, such as the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, thought of being formed in the 3rd century AD. In addition, the scholarly genre of landscape painting, depicting scholars at work within mountains, became established by the Song dynasty (AD 960-1279). According to Alf Stein these features paralleled a growing scholarly interest with disconnecting from the contemporary current affairs and finding solace within nature. From the Ming dynasty, manuals providing instructions on how to build garden containers, as the Hua Jing and the Yun Lin Shipu, coincidently surfaced mentioning the rules and values of the life of the learned men and describing rocks as the necessary constituents of the environments where the learned men could retire from the world and pursue his passions. Gardens presenting the miniaturised features of nature, and scholarly items shaped as mountains and manufactured from natural materials as wood, bamboo, or unusual natural stones, had become, by late Imperial China, a standard feature decorating the studios of scholars.

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A Chinese table screen for the scholar's desk,

Lot 16: A Chinese table screen for the scholar's desk,

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Description: A Chinese table screen for the scholar's desk, 17th-18th century, of rectangular form in carved and pierced ivory stand with lion- dog side posts, the screen carved in low relief with a lakeside scene featuring scholars at leisurely pursuit in front of a pavilion, the reverse side decorated with a cartouche containing an inscription, below an archaistic vessel, 26cm high. Provenance: Private UK Collection. For comparable examples see Allen, Selected ivory carvings from the Sir Victor Sassoon Chinese Ivories Trust, 1999, p. 32-33; Michel Beurdeley, The Chinese collector through the centuries: from the Han to the 20th century, fig. n. 116, p. 243; Fang Jing Pei, Treasures of the Chinese Scholar, fig. 161; James Watt, Chinese decorative Arts, p. 43, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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An ivory figure of Budai, 19th century, standing

Lot 17: An ivory figure of Budai, 19th century, standing

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Description: An ivory figure of Budai, 19th century, standing with an open laughing mouth, wearing long, flowing robes adhering tightly to the slender figure, his ear lobes descending to the collar, holding a set of prayer beads, on a wood stand, Provenance: Private UK Collection.

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A Chinese ivory coffee pot and cover, 19th

Lot 18: A Chinese ivory coffee pot and cover, 19th

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Description: A Chinese ivory coffee pot and cover, 19th century, carved as a wooden stump form with handle and spout shaped as branches, carved with high relief designs of scrolling peonies on the body and cover

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A pair of Chinese gilded and apple green glass

Lot 19: A pair of Chinese gilded and apple green glass

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Description: A pair of Chinese gilded and apple green glass earrings, late Qing dynasty, decorated with beaded motifs enclosing the archaistic shou character for longevity, the glass bead shaped as the head of the lingzhi fungus, 2.5cm diameter Private UK Collection.. The lingzhifungus has a symbolism associated with immortality beliefs in China, first acknowledged in the medicinal manual, Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (the Deity of Agriculture's Materia Medica), dating to the Qin and Han dynasties. Resembling the head of a Chinese sceptre, known as ruyi, the lingzhi is thus homophone of "as you wish".. For reference on ruyi sceptres, see Jessica Rawson, The auspicious universe, in China: the three emperors, 2006, p. 356-378.

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A pair of Chinese gilt metal hooped earrings, 19th

Lot 20: A pair of Chinese gilt metal hooped earrings, 19th

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Description: A pair of Chinese gilt metal hooped earrings, 19th century, decorated with chrysanthemum designs in kingfisher feather, 2.5cm diameter Private UK Collection.. Chrysanthemums have been cultivated in China since at least the Tang dynasty, when Tao Yuanming (365-427) praised these flowers for their properties of inspiring the return to nature; later, chrysanthemums were symbolic associated with the sun and thus yang forces, and regarded as life sustaining and prolongers.

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A group of silver objects, 19th century,

Lot 21: A group of silver objects, 19th century,

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Description: A group of silver objects, 19th century, comprising to cuffs, one plain, the other decorated with intricate floral scrolls and interlocking foliage, two buckles and two hairpins, similarly decorated Private UK Collection.

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A pair of Chinese ear pendants, late Qing dynasty,

Lot 22: A pair of Chinese ear pendants, late Qing dynasty,

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Description: A pair of Chinese ear pendants, late Qing dynasty, embellished with blue paste drops, metal surmounts and orange glass beads, 5.3cm high Private UK Collection.

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A pair of Chinese ear pendants, late Qing dynasty,

Lot 23: A pair of Chinese ear pendants, late Qing dynasty,

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Description: A pair of Chinese ear pendants, late Qing dynasty, embellished with green paste drops and metal surmounts, 4.3cm high Private UK Collection.

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A pair of Chinese gold earrings earrings, 19th

Lot 24: A pair of Chinese gold earrings earrings, 19th

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Description: A pair of Chinese gold earrings earrings, 19th century, embellished with designs of coins and a butterfly enamelled in kingfisher feather and inlaid with pearls and other gems, 2.9cm diameter Private UK Collection.

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A pair of Chinese gold, hooped, earrings, 19th

Lot 25: A pair of Chinese gold, hooped, earrings, 19th

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Description: A pair of Chinese gold, hooped, earrings, 19th century,decorated with artemisia and bamboo leaves, embedded with coral, pearls and kingfisher feather, 2.9cm diameter Private UK Collection.. Artemisia is part of a group of Eight Auspicious Emblems known as babao, including pearls, lozenges, mirrors, chimes, scrolls, golden coins, ivory tusks, coral sticks. Artemisia leaves are curative herbs and thus associated with longevity, but are also associated with protective symbolism for their resemblance to tiger paws. Though artemisia was mainly used on porcelain wares and textiles dating to the Qing dynasty, it already appeared in connection with Ming dynasty festival badges work during the Dragon Boat Festival, observed on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. For reference see Wong Hwei Lian, Power dressing: textiles for rulers and priests from the Chris Hall Collection, 2006.

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Two pairs of white metal, gilded earrings, Qing

Lot 26: Two pairs of white metal, gilded earrings, Qing

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Description: Two pairs of white metal, gilded earrings, Qing dynasty, shaped as flowers and flower baskets, chrysanthemums, embellished with bamboo leaves, in kingfisher feather, 5.4cm and 1cm diameter Private UK Collection.

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Four Chinese jade earrings, Qing dynasty ,

Lot 27: Four Chinese jade earrings, Qing dynasty ,

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Description: Four Chinese jade earrings, Qing dynasty , differently carved with floral designs and foliage scrolls, respectively 5.3cm, 2.3cm, 3.5cm and 2.3cm high Private UK Collection.

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A pair of Chinese jade, coral and beryl earrings,

Lot 28: A pair of Chinese jade, coral and beryl earrings,

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Description: A pair of Chinese jade, coral and beryl earrings, Qing dynasty ,carved with designs of bats, 5.5cm high Private UK Collection.. Bats conveys happiness and good being homophone with fu meaning happiness, and sharing a similar shape as they ruyi head for sceptres, which noted above, signify "as you wish"

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A pair of Chinese ear pendants, late Qing

Lot 29: A pair of Chinese ear pendants, late Qing

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Description: A pair of Chinese ear pendants, late Qing dynasty,embellished with apple green jade drops and metal surmounts, 4.5cm high. Private UK Collection.

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A Chinese Imperial apricot-ground, consort's

Lot 30: A Chinese Imperial apricot-ground, consort's

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Description: A Chinese Imperial apricot-ground, consort's formal court robe jifu, 19th century, embroidered in counted stitch with nine embroidered dragons, 147cm high and 97cm wide. The robe is finely worked in satin stitches in shades of blue, green, red, aubergine and ochre and couched vibrant gold threads with nine five- clawed dragons clutching or confronting flaming pearls amidst dense ruyi clouds interspersed with bats and the Eight Precious Things on both the front and back against an apricot ground. The matching dark blue-ground cuffs and collar are worked with further dragons amidst bats, clouds and waves, below blue silk sleeve extensions. The chapters on Imperial robes in the Historical Manuscript of the Qing dynasty, Qing Shi Gao ,contain a precise description of the nature and position of the decorative elements for a robe that find a counterpart in the robe included in this catalogue. The Eight Precious Things were drawn from a large repertoire symbolise luck and prosperity, including the pearl representing good fortune, evolving over time into flaming coloured jewels, a lozenge, once an ancient headdress symbolising victory, often appearing in interlocking pairs, a stone chime, a ministerial emblem embodying upright values, homophone with qing meaning congratulations, pair of books, symbol of learning, pairs of rhinoceros horns, symbolising happiness, artemisia leaf, symbolising good luck and prevention of diseases. Provenance: Private European collection.

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A Chinese silk vest for the wife of a court

Lot 31: A Chinese silk vest for the wife of a court

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Description: A Chinese silk vest for the wife of a court mandarin, xiapei, 19th century, worn during festive occasions such as the Lantern Festival, the midnight blue vest displaying three dragons, two to the front, one to the back, worked in gilt-wrapped threads, each chasing a flaming pearl, amid bats, Auspicious Emblems, scrolling clouds, peaches and long tailed birds of various civil ranks, above a band of wind tossed waves interspersed with peonies, border and a band of scrolling lotuses and foliage, the hem hung multicoloured silk tassels, 98cm high and 73cm wide. Provenance: Private UK Collection.. Symbolic of the long ribbons that were attached to the seals of official office, long tailed birds were symbolic of nobility and good fortune, and characterised the badges that were worn by Chinese officials; in addition, long tailed birds underscored wishes for longevity and generation, forming the Chinese term for long tailed birds, shoudai niao, a pun on the words for longevity and generation; peonies fugui are homophones with richness and nobility, peaches are connected with immortality beliefs due to their affinity with the famous peaches of immortality growing in the paradise of the legendary Queen Mother of the West; for the multitude of their petals, lotuses are often associated with wishes for fertility and frequently found in association with children. For reference see Ellen Johnston, Auspicious motifs in ninth- to thirteenth- century Chinese tombs, 2003, p. 33-75.

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A collection of ten Chinese Imperial unmade

Lot 32: A collection of ten Chinese Imperial unmade

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Description: A collection of ten Chinese Imperial unmade purses, fan cases and shoes, Qing dynasty, all embroidered in fine counted stitch on fine silk gauze, the purses in kidney shape, decorated with bands of scrolling foliage, gold thread shou character, and blooming peonies Provenance: Private UK Collection.

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A collection of Chinese buttons, Qing dynasty ,

Lot 33: A collection of Chinese buttons, Qing dynasty ,

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Description: A collection of Chinese buttons, Qing dynasty , for Imperial robes, hats and other garments, including six full sets of gilded buttons decorated with bats, mandarin ducks and flowers, four mother of pearl buttons carved with shou characters, two silver gods for festive hats, a group of silver buttons carved with floral designs, eight single buttons decorated with bells, a group of beads, and eight gold thread strands, and a collection of beads of different colours Private UK Collection.

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A Chinese white jade archer's ring, 19th century,

Lot 34: A Chinese white jade archer's ring, 19th century,

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Description: A Chinese white jade archer's ring, 19th century, of cylindrical, plain form, the stone of an even, white tone, 3cm high and 3.5cm diameter. Provenance: Private UK Collection. Acquired from Bluetts in 1980's.

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A Chinese jade censer, 18th century , of

Lot 35: A Chinese jade censer, 18th century , of

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Description: A Chinese jade censer, 18th century , of compressed globular form, the handles shaped as mythical face masks, the body carved with stylized eye motifs, scrolls spiralling from them and archaistic dragons designs, between a band of geometrical motifs and ruyi heads, the splayed foot with a stylised band of cicada lappets, the stone bearing a pale celadon tone with russet inclusions, 7.5cm high and 13.5cm long, with a wood stand. Provenance: Purchased from Sydney L. Moss, London.. For comparable examples, see a related green jade incense burner in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Masterworks of Chinese Jade in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, 1969, pl.33. See also a stained green ivory box and cover, dating to Kangxi period, similarly carved with archaistic dragon designs, included in the Collection of the Beijing Palace Museum and illustrated in Jessica Rawson's, China The Three Emperors, 2006, p. 236.

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A Chinese jade group of three wild swimming geese

Lot 36: A Chinese jade group of three wild swimming geese

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Description: A Chinese jade group of three wild swimming geese , 17th-18th century, the adult holding a spray of millet in its beak, flanked by two goslings carved in high relief, with incised wings and upturned tails, the stone with cloudy- white and russet inclusions, pierced, at the base, with two sets of holes for at tachment, the jade bearing a pale celadon tone, 5.8 cm long Provenance: Acquired from Messrs Spink. For comparable examples, see The Palace Museum, Beijing,The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Small Refined Articles of the Study , 2009, n. 87 p. 119; Spink & Son, Chinese Jade: An Important Private Collection , 1991, n. 158, p. 76-7.

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A Chinese jade carving of a fish and lotus ,

Lot 37: A Chinese jade carving of a fish and lotus ,

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Description: A Chinese jade carving of a fish and lotus , 17th-18th century, swimming next to a lotus and a pod, holding a stem of flowers with leaves incised in high relief on the reverse, the stone, semi translucent, of a pale celadon tone is finely polished with charcoal and russet inclusions, 7cm long For comparable examples see the jade carvings in the Beijing Palace Musem, in Zhang, Mingdai yuqi , fig. 50 p. 93, and in Zhang, Artifact collection in the Palace Museum , n. 128 p. 142-143. The combination of fish and lotus underscores wishes for abundance and fertility and are frequently found decorating porcelain wares, jades, and other utensils for everyday life. In particular, since at least the Tang dynasty, images of lotuses and children were frequently produced in prints, which were purchased in occasion of the Lantern Festival and the Double Seventh Festival, aimed at celebrating the Meeting between the Weaving Maid and the Cowherd, symbolising the wish for the coming of sons. Ellen Johnston, Auspicious images of children in China: Ninth to thirteenth century, in Orientations , 27 , 47-52, 1996; Meng Yuanlao, Dongjing menghua lu (the Eastern capital: a dream of splendours past), 1986.

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A Chinese jade double gourd group, 18th century ,

Lot 38: A Chinese jade double gourd group, 18th century ,

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Description: A Chinese jade double gourd group, 18th century , finely carved amid twisting, leafy stems worked in openwork designs from which two smaller fruits and tendrils issue, the stone of a semi-translucent, greyish-white tone with russet inclusions, 6.4 cm long For comparable example, see a jade carving ( M010B0001AD) in the National Palace Museum, Taipei; object n. 174, p. 82-83 in Davidson, Jades of the T. B. Walker Collection at the Walker Art Center Minneapolis, Minnesota, no. 174, pp. 82-3; a jade brush washer (Accession number 02.18.441) in the Metropolitan Museum, New York; a jade pendant at the Capital Museum, Beijing; finally, a carved bamboo, double gourd shaped box in the Beijing Palace Museum, GUI121081. Gourds are connected with immortal beliefs in China, associated with longevity and old age, whether still entwined within the vine or in the hands of a sage or immortal. Gourds were used as bottles for medicines, and because of their auspicious association, being the word hulu to designate such bottles, homophone with protect, shield, guard, and blessings, they often were employed as shapes for ceramic vessels, dating from at least the Tang dynasty, as well as wood, ivory or jade bottles and containers. For reference see Patricia Welsh, Chinese art, a guide to motifs and visual imagery, 2008, p. 50-51.

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A Chinese jade boulder, 17th-18th century , carved

Lot 39: A Chinese jade boulder, 17th-18th century , carved

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Description: A Chinese jade boulder, 17th-18th century , carved as a laminated moutainous landscape with a scholar admiring the scenery, standing next to a deer underneath a gnarled peach tree, the stone of a celadon-green tone with russet inclusions, 14.5cm long Mountainous scenes featuring scholars were a popular motif decorating brush washers, boxes, porcelain wares and paintings, in Chinese art, especially that dating to late imperial China. Mountains in China were highly regarded, especially by the scholarly elites, for their naturally high peaks, conceived as the closest connecting point to heaven, and connection with the life giving element of water. The theme of the educate scholar retreating in the mountain has been examined in connection with period of political turmoil: the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, thought of being formed in the 3rd century AD, begun to surface in literatures but also in tombs and paintings following the collapse of the Han dynasty and the period of instability coinciding with the establishment of the Six Dynasties (AD 420-589). By the Tang dynasty, a set of four principal aesthetic qualities for the rocks had emerged, consisting of thinness, openness, perforations, and wrinkling and the Song produced the first manual on stone connoisseurship, Du Wan's Stone Compendium of Cloudy Forest, which had a great impact on the history of collecting stones. From the Ming dynasty, manuals providing instructions on how to build garden containers, as the Hua Jing and the Yun Lin Shipu, coincidently surfaced mentioning the rules and values of the life of the learned men and describing rocks as the necessary constituents of the environments where the learned men could retire from the world and pursue his passions. For reference see Jessica Rawson, Cosmological systems as sources of art, ornament and design,' Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern antiquities , 2000, p. 133-89; Alf Stein (1990), The world in miniature : container gardens and dwellings in Far Eastern religious thought, 1990.

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A Chinese jade vase carved as a magnolia blossom ,

Lot 40: A Chinese jade vase carved as a magnolia blossom ,

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Description: A Chinese jade vase carved as a magnolia blossom , 17th-18th century, generating from an intricate stem, obtained in openwork design, the base from which originate lotus buds and other blossoms, growing in high relief around the body of the vase, the white stone bearing mottled darker inclusions, 12.5cm long and 5cm wide Provenance: Formerly in an English private collection. For similar examples, see Richard Gump, Jade: Stone of Heaven , p. 215; and Wong and Goh, Imperial Life in the Qing Dynasty: Treasures from the Shenyang Palace Museum, China , p. 93; Mei Ninghua and Tao Xingcheng, Gems of Beijing Cultural Relics Series: Jades , 2007, n. 263, p. 214; Xue Guisheng, Zhongguo Yuqi Shangjian ( The Appreciation and Verification of Chinese Jades), 2005, n. 201, p. 118. The symbolism of the magnolia was often associated with that of jade, due to its brilliant white colour, and highly regarded as a flower symbolic of high rank, being the character yu for yulan 玉兰 , magnolia, homophone with Jade Hall, yutang , the government office for scholar-officials who had attained the highest degree or jinshi. Ellen Johnston Laing, Auspicious motifs in ninth- to thirteenth-century Chinese tombs, in Ars Orientalis , 33 , p. 33-75.

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A Chinese jade group of two cats, 18th century ,

Lot 41: A Chinese jade group of two cats, 18th century ,

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Description: A Chinese jade group of two cats, 18th century , climbing over each other, with small ears, incised whiskers and long tails, one grasping a large dragon fly, the stone bearing an even white tone, 4.5 cm high Cats, a symbol of longevity for their homophonic association with mao meaning octagenarian, were often combined with dragonflies, to represent wishes for a long life. For comparable examples, see Suzanne Foster, Chinese jade: the image from within , 1986, n. 219, p. 94; The Palace Museum, Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Jade , Vol. 9, n. 152, p. 163; Xue Bisheng, Zhongguo Yuqi Shangjian ( Choice Assemblage of Ancient Jade) , n. 451, p. 233.

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A Chinese jade pouring vessel, Yuan/Ming dynasty ,

Lot 42: A Chinese jade pouring vessel, Yuan/Ming dynasty ,

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Description: A Chinese jade pouring vessel, Yuan/Ming dynasty , shaped as an up turned lotus leaf, incised with veins, carved in high relief with a lotus pod, flower and leaf to the sides and base, with tying stems to form the handle, the stone of semi-translucent, greenish-white tone with cloudy grey and russet inclusions, 12.5cm long Chinese scholars enjoyed the use of writing accessories made of jade, praised by Confucius as 'the embodiment of virtue'. This jade water dropper in the form of a lotus leaf would have carried the additional symbolism of uncompromised integrity, being the lotus able to emerge from muddy waters.The water dropper was an important constituent of the scholar's studio, being employed to produce ink by grinding the ink cake to compose literary works. For reference see Jessica Rawson, Chinese jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, 1995.

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A Chinese jade water pot, 17th-18th century ,

Lot 43: A Chinese jade water pot, 17th-18th century ,

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Description: A Chinese jade water pot, 17th-18th century , modelled in the shape of a large, curving, lotus leaf resting on leafy, curling stems of lingzhi fungi tied with a ribbon, morning glories, all worked in high relief and openwork design to create the base, the translucent stone bearing a pale celadon-green tone with grey inclusions, 9.5 cm long For comparable examples see Hong Kong Museum of Art, Splendour of the Qing Dynasty , 1992, n. 239, p. 375 and Howard Hansford, Chinese Jade Carving , 1950, pl. XXXb, both dating to the Qianlong period; Jessica Rawson, Chinese jade from the Neolithic to the Qing , 1995, fig. 7 p. 389, dating to the Ming dynasty; Xue Binsheng, Zhongguo Yuqi Shangjian ( The Appreciation and Verification of Chinese Jade) , 2000, n. 684, p. 338.

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A fine Chinese jade brush washer, 18th century ,

Lot 44: A fine Chinese jade brush washer, 18th century ,

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Description: A fine Chinese jade brush washer, 18th century , carved as a large lotus leaf of irregular rectangular form with the edges curled up, flanked by a small lotus pod, carved with a cluster of leafy tendrils, the interior decorated with a frog, a shell and a bat, the stone bearing a pale celadon tone with russet inclusions, 9cm long For a comparable example see the jade dish (50.145.115), dated to the Qianlong period, in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and a jade washer, also dating to the Qianlong period, lot 1101, sold at Tooveys on 16th August 2007 for £21,000.

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A fine Chinese pale celadon jade carving of a

Lot 45: A fine Chinese pale celadon jade carving of a

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Description: A fine Chinese pale celadon jade carving of a mandarin duck and duckling, 18th century, swimming next to each other, both heads craned back, backed by a large lotus leaf, the wings incised to detailed plumage, the adult grasping a lotus sprig, 5cm long For comparable examples see Jessica Rawson, Chinese jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, 1995, n. 26 and 27 p. 377; Rawson, Chinese jade throughout the ages, 1975, n. 365.

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A small Chinese jade carving of two cats, 18th

Lot 46: A small Chinese jade carving of two cats, 18th

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Description: A small Chinese jade carving of two cats, 18th century , coiled about each other, with long whiskers, short, pointed ears, curling tails, tucked legs and small kitten beneath them, the stone bearing a pale celadon tone, 5cm long For comparable examples see The Palace Museum, Taipei, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, 1999, n. 85, p. 105; Wu Fengpei, Masterpieces of Chinese writing materials in the National Palace Museum, 1971, n. 41; Mary Tregear, One man's taste: treasures from the Lakeside Pavilion, 1989, n. 113 p. 15.

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A Chinese jade elephant, Qing dynasty ,

Lot 47: A Chinese jade elephant, Qing dynasty ,

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Description: A Chinese jade elephant, Qing dynasty , naturalistically carved standing four-square, the head turned to the right, holding, on its back, a ruyi sceptre tied with ribbons, the stone of pale grey and celadon tone with russet inclusions, 5.4cm high, 8cm long Elephants xiang are homophone with xiang meaning prime minister. Ruyi sceptres were among the most prized auspicious gifts by the Qianlong Emperor. Their hears shaped end resembled the curling growth of the lingzhi fungus, connected with immortal beliefs; in addition, the term ruyi 如意 translate as "as you wish". Sceptres of this kind were manufactured in every material, usually in auspicious sets of nine, and were decorated with designs of birds, flowers and animals. For reference see Jessica Rawson, The auspicious universe, in China: the Three Emperors, 2006, p. 356-378.

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A Chinese Qingbai bowl, ca. 12th century , of

Lot 48: A Chinese Qingbai bowl, ca. 12th century , of

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Description: A Chinese Qingbai bowl, ca. 12th century , of conical shape, thinly moulded with alternating designs of two boys playing amid lotus flowers and pomegranates, underscoring the auspicious wish for male offspring, all below a beaded border, the exterior with a sequence of diagonal lines, covered with a transparent glaze of pale blue tone, the rim unglazed, 17.3cm diameter, 3cm high Provenance: Private European Collection. Combined with children, lotuses underscore auspicious symbolism for wishes for male sons. Children were also found in association with lotuses. Historical sources relating to the Song dynasty suggest that the imagery of presenting children and lotuses, to convey the wish for progeny, derived from the common folk. Describing folk events taking place in the Southern Song capital of Linan, in Zhejiang, the Mengliang Lu (Memoirs of Linan) records that, during the Double Seventh festivals, images of children and lotuses were purchased on that day as auspicious emblems, popular among women desiring sons. The Double Seventh Festival fell on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, and celebrated the coming of sons, originating from a folk legend by which, on that day, the Weaving Maid and the Cowherd, symbolizing the two constellations located on the opposite sides of the Milky Way, met. Ellen Johnston, Auspicious images of children in China: Ninth to thirteenth century, in Orientations , 27 , 47-52, 1996; Meng Yuanlao, Dongjing menghua lu 东京梦华录 (the Eastern capital: a dream of splendours past), 1986. Collection.

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A Chinese marble and wood screen stand for the

Lot 49: A Chinese marble and wood screen stand for the

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Description: A Chinese marble and wood screen stand for the scholar's table, 19th century, the attractively veined marble reminiscent of a mountainous landscape, particularly regarded by the literati of late Imperial China, 39.5cm high without the stand, stand measures 25cm high

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A Chinese Wucai porcelain jar, Shunzhi period ,

Lot 50: A Chinese Wucai porcelain jar, Shunzhi period ,

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Description: A Chinese Wucai porcelain jar, Shunzhi period , with wide shoulders and waisted neck, the globular body spreading towards the slightly concave base, painted with a broad frieze of four Buddhist lions amid scrolling flowers, within two other friezes of scrolling flowers to the neck and foot, below a narrow band of ruyi lappets and diaper patterns, 28.8cm high and 21cm wide

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