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Auction Description for Florence: Asian Art
Viewing Notes:
12th May 3pm - 7.30pm., 13th May to 16th May 9.30am - 7.30pm.

604 lots with images

May 18, 2013

Live Auction

Viale del Poggio Imperiale, 9

Florence, 50125 Italy

Phone: +39 (0)55 52 77 665

Email: info@florencenumbernine.com

604 Lots
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A stone Buddha head

Lot 1: A stone Buddha head

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Description: This Buddha head, with its wise expression, conveys feelings of calm and serenity. The features of the oval face are well-balanced: the eyes, elegantly shaped, are enclosed by soft eyelids; the nose has and a slightly curved line; the half-open mouth is set in great strength and self-consciousness. The head is topped with curly hair that still displays clear traces of the blue pigment which originally coated it. This work of art is an example of profound Buddhist devotion that only Chinese sculptors from the Tang era could have created. China, Tang dynasty

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A céladon yenyen vase

Lot 2: A céladon yenyen vase

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Description: This elegant and remarkable Longquan baluster vase is uniformly covered in a celadon green glazing with an exquisite craquelure and sparks of iridescence. Under the glazing, a refined decoration unfolds with engraved floral arabesques of splendid peony flowers. China, Yuan / Ming dinasty, 14th-15th century

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Twelve pottery figures representing the twelve zodiac signs

Lot 3: Twelve pottery figures representing the twelve zodiac signs

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Description: Group of lively terracotta sculptures painted in polychrome (of which only some traces remain). Each sculpture portrays a dignitary holding an animal of the traditional Chinese zodiac in his arms. China, Ming dynasty (1368-1644)

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A large lacquered wood food box

Lot 4: A large lacquered wood food box

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Description: This artifact of remarkable size is composed of three compartments enclosed in an imposing structure of black lacquered wood; on its surface, there are distributed openings with moulded frames. On the front, each compartment shows a wide panel with plait work, enclosed in a frame of black lacquered wood traced with ornamentations of corollas and butterflies. The hinges and finishings are made of metal. China, Qing dynasty, 19th century

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A white jade and a pale céladon jade belthook

Lot 5: A white jade and a pale céladon jade belthook

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Description: China, Qing dynasty, late 18th-early 19th century

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A céladon jade group

Lot 6: A céladon jade group

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Description: China, Qing dynasty, 19th century

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A pale céladon jade pendant

Lot 7: A pale céladon jade pendant

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Description: China, Qing dynasty, late 19th century

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A small jade seal

Lot 8: A small jade seal

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Description: China, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), 19th century

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A pale céladon jade boy

Lot 9: A pale céladon jade boy

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Description: China, Qing dynasty, 19th century

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A white jade animal

Lot 10: A white jade animal

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Description: Refined white jade sculpture portraying a crouching feline. One paw extends to touch its nose and the tail to caress its jaw. China, Qing dynasty, 19th century

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A large famille verte biscuit porcelain figure of Guandi

Lot 11: A large famille verte biscuit porcelain figure of Guandi

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Description: This big, impressive porcelain sculpture decorated with polychrome enamels of the famille verte palette on biscuit portrays the war god Guandi seated on a plinth. He is dressed in solid and strong armour decorated with geometrical patterns, over which he wears a floral surcoat tied at the waist by a belt with a remarkable buckle in the shape of a lion mascaron. His head dons a hat and he is wearing big boots. Note that the left hand shows some signs of restoration work and the right foot lacks its base. China, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722)

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A pair of porcelain saucers

Lot 12: A pair of porcelain saucers

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Description: China, Transitional period, 17th century

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An iron red decorated porcelain saucer dish

Lot 13: An iron red decorated porcelain saucer dish

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Description: China, Qing dynasty, Guangxu mark and period (1875-1908)

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A Guan-type vase, fanghu

Lot 14: A Guan-type vase, fanghu

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Description: Precious porcelain vase coated in azure glazing with a thin, radiating dusky craquelure. At the centre of the larger sides, the body shows a relief in the shape of a peach, while cylindrical handles are attached near the neck. The perforated base bears the Tongzhi mark. China, late Qing dynasty

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A parcel gilt-copper figure of a lohan

Lot 15: A parcel gilt-copper figure of a lohan

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Description: China, Qing dynasty, Jiaqing period (1796-1820)

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A gilt bronze figure of the arhat Ajita

Lot 16: A gilt bronze figure of the arhat Ajita

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Description: Tibet, 18th century. Inscription to the rear of base translates to 'The Invincible'

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A gilt bronze figure of Amitayus

Lot 17: A gilt bronze figure of Amitayus

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Description: Sino-tibetan, 18th century

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A gilt bronze figure of Amitayus

Lot 18: A gilt bronze figure of Amitayus

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Description: Sino-tibetan, 18th century

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An inlaid gilt-bronze

Lot 19: An inlaid gilt-bronze "yingxiong" censer

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Description: Elegant and powerful incense burner in the shape of a mythological animal. The beast has bulging eyes and thick eyebrows. The phoenix resting on its back has an eagle beak and a curled crest enriched with elaborate plumage. This composition is entirely decorated with inlays of semi-precious stones (malachite, turquoise, agate, carnelian, pink quartz, lapis lazuli, white jade) which create a stunning multi-coloured effect. Some inlays have detached and the gilding show signs of wear. A similar artefact is preserved at the National Palace Museum in Taipei ("Special Exhibition of Incense Burners and Perfumers throughout the Dynasties", Taipei, 1994, no. 119). Due to its shape and especially to the crafting techniques used, it can be compared to the vase exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (S. Bushell, "Chinese Art", London 1919, vol. II, fig. 96). A similarly crafted group with two birds resting on a rock is described in "Roger Keverne. Fine and Rare Chinese Works of Art", London 2004, no. 21. China, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period (1736-1795)

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A carved black hardwood cabinet

Lot 20: A carved black hardwood cabinet

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Description: Refined cabinet in a very dark toned hardwood, with carvings in openwork and reliefs on the whole surface, representing intricate floral arabesques of corollas, different kinds of birds in flight, dragons and lion mascarons. The cabinet is divided in offset shelves; the bottom left part includes a small drawer and a bigger partition with a shutter. Indochina, circa 1900

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A carved black hardwood bench

Lot 21: A carved black hardwood bench

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Description: Indochina, circa 1900

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A large mother-of-pearl inlaid rosewood display cabinet

Lot 22: A large mother-of-pearl inlaid rosewood display cabinet

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Description: China, late 19th-early 20th century

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A pair of mother-of-pearl inlaid marble top and rosewood square tables

Lot 23: A pair of mother-of-pearl inlaid marble top and rosewood square tables

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Description: China, late 19th - early 20th century

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An 'half moon' huanghuali table

Lot 24: An 'half moon' huanghuali table

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Description: Semicircular shaped ("half moon", yueyazhou) refined table in huanghuali wood. Resting on four legs, its only embellishment is the wide grating placed under the top. Its most interesting features are the grain of the wood from which it was crafted and the "classical" elegance of its shape. China, 20th century

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A huanghuali table

Lot 25: A huanghuali table

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Description: Extremely elegant table in huanghuali hardwood, enriched on all four sides with a fine decoration of vegetal arabesques in relief. The corners also display a refined festoon in the winding shape of a stylized dragon. China, 20th century

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A polychrome porcelain vase

Lot 26: A polychrome porcelain vase

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Description: China, Republic period (1912-1949)

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A pair of ruby ground porcelain double-gourd vases and stands

Lot 27: A pair of ruby ground porcelain double-gourd vases and stands

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Description: China, Republic period (1912-1949)

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A 'famille rose' 'mille fleurs' vase

Lot 28: A 'famille rose' 'mille fleurs' vase

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Description: China, early 20th century

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A yellow ground 'famille rose' porcelain Gu vase

Lot 29: A yellow ground 'famille rose' porcelain Gu vase

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Description: China, Republic period (1912-1949)

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A framed porcelain plaque

Lot 30: A framed porcelain plaque

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Description: China, Republic period (1912-1949)

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A framed porcelain plaque

Lot 31: A framed porcelain plaque

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Description: This tile, enclosed in an elegant carved wood frame and painted in lively colours, shows a beautiful battle scene taking place near a fortification. In the top left corner, there is an inscription with signature and seal. China, Republic period (1912-1949)

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A pair of lantern-shape polychrome porcelain vases

Lot 32: A pair of lantern-shape polychrome porcelain vases

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Description: China, early 20th century

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A large spinach green jade belthook

Lot 33: A large spinach green jade belthook

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Description: China, Qing dynasty, 19th century

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A pale céladon jade figure of Buddha

Lot 34: A pale céladon jade figure of Buddha

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Description: This figure, seated with crossed legs in the padmasana position, is dressed in a loose dhoti with a rich and elaborate draping. The head dons an exuberant diadem and the hands are pressed together at the chest in the anjalimudra position. The facial expression conveys serenity and introspection. The carving boasts well-defined details and the composition is well-balanced. China, 19th century

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Eight white and pale céladon jade belthooks

Lot 35: Eight white and pale céladon jade belthooks

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Description: China, Qing dynasty, late 18th-early 19th century

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A small agate vase

Lot 36: A small agate vase

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Description: Beautiful agate vase, shaped as an archaic bronze container. On the ovoid body, two lion masks are positioned near the neck. The Qianlong mark appears on the base. Two small chips to the mouth-rim. China, Qing dynasty, Qianlong (1736-1795) / Jiaqing period (1796-1820)

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An agate rectangular box and cover

Lot 37: An agate rectangular box and cover

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Description: China, Qing dynasty, Qianlong sealmark and period (1736-1795)

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A pale green jade carving with two boys on a gourd

Lot 38: A pale green jade carving with two boys on a gourd

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Description: Exquisite small sculpture in light green jade with attractive dusky patches in the lower part. It portrays two adolescents: the one on the left is holding a bowl with a lid from which a dragon surges among smoke coils. This dramatic composition rests on a two-bodied pumpkin flask. A toad in remarkable detail can be seen perched on the shoulders of the two characters. China, Qing dynasty, 17th-18th century

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A white jade belt hook and buckle

Lot 39: A white jade belt hook and buckle

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Description: Exquisite buckle in pure white jade composing of two parts: the buckle itself and the clasp. The carving is stunning, with a refined balance in composition and detail rendering. It consists of two dragons sinuously wrapping each other in their coils, almost camouflaging themselves among the swirling, soaring ruyi sceptres and lingzhi mushrooms. On the back, a series of elegant round clasps. A very similar specimen is preserved at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (M. Knight, He Li and T. Tse Bartolomew, "Chinese Jades. Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century. From the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", San Francisco 2007, p. 51, no. 11). China, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period (1736-1795)

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A jade lotus flower shape cup

Lot 40: A jade lotus flower shape cup

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Description: Refined jade small cup, naturalistically carved in the shape of a lotus. On one side, shoots from the lotus plate entwine to create the elegant handle. The translucent shades of the precious stone are beautifully tinted with dark marks. China, 17th century

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A horseshoeback folding armchair, jiaoyi

Lot 41: A horseshoeback folding armchair, jiaoyi

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Description: China, Qing dynasty, 19th century

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An important huanghuali altar corner-leg table

Lot 42: An important huanghuali altar corner-leg table

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Description: Its surface is smooth and is enclosed by a beautiful elaborate frame, carved with various motifs in a triumph of reliefs on different levels. It shows swastikas, floral arabesques, lotus petals, archaistic-style gui dragons; lion masks at the corners. It is an object of great value, most definitely commissioned by a very important person. China, Qing dynasty, late 18th-early 19th century

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A large and massive tielimu plank top recessed trestle leg altar table

Lot 43: A large and massive tielimu plank top recessed trestle leg altar table

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Description: This spectacular table is the result of the carving of a single log of 'mesua ferrea' (tielimu): the only tree whose size makes it possible to produce such big surfaces and legs. In addition to its remarkable size, it stands out for the sophisticated technique with which it was assembled, that is to say using very few pieces. Items of furniture such as this were used in religious contexts as altars (tianchanji). Tielimu tables were produced mainly during the Ming and the early Qing dynasties (1644-1911) (Wang Shixiang, "Classic Chinese furniture, Ming and Early Qing dynasties", Hong Kong 1986, pp. 17-18). According to Wen Zhenheng (1585-1645), a famous painter and expert, author of the "Zhang wu zhi" ("Treaty on Superfluous Things", 1620-1627), the best tables were those in tielimu because this kind of wood had a particularly beautiful and charming grain (Wang Shixiang, "Conoisseurship of Chinese Furniture, Ming and early Qing dynasties, 2 vols., Hong Kong 1990: I, p.69). China, Ming dynasty, 16th-17th century

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A pair of 'spinach green' jade vases

Lot 44: A pair of 'spinach green' jade vases

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Description: Two spectacular vases carved in green jade with an extraordinarily shimmering hue. Their shape, elegant and slender, is multifaceted. On the body, at the centre, there is a refined carving with floral arabesques in relief. On the top and at the bottom, there are two series of four lion heads, each one holding a mobile ring (one of which is missing). A similar arrangement is shown also on the depressed lid, with an important globular handle on its top. They have their own wooden base. Source: Christie's New York, 29th November 1990, lot 366. China, 19th century

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A red carved lacquer circular box and cover

Lot 45: A red carved lacquer circular box and cover

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Description: China, Qing dynasty, Jiaqing period (1796-1820)

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A red and black carved rectangular lacquer armrest

Lot 46: A red and black carved rectangular lacquer armrest

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Description: China, Qing dynasty, 19th century

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A black lacquer mother-of-pearl inlaid table stand

Lot 47: A black lacquer mother-of-pearl inlaid table stand

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Description: An extraordinary small table with a flat surface, lateral rounded bands with shell-shaped carving, and curved feet containing a red lacquered globe. The whole surface is covered with black lacquer on which numerous tiny mother-of-pearl flakes create a decoration with figures, glimpses of landscape, geometric and plant patterns. Note that some inlay works are missing. Objects in lacquered wood with mother-of-pearl inlays were already being produced during the Tang and Song dynasties. It was during the Yuan dynasty that this technique was perfected. Cao Zhao wrote about it in his "Geguyaolun" ("Essential Criteria of Antiquities") in 1388, in which he explained that this kind of object was already very successful at that time, despite its high price. Wang Zuo, curator of the 1462 version of the "Geguyaolun", specified that these objects were produced in the area of Jian in the province of Jiangxi, a district where also Yan Mao and Zhang Zheng - two famous craftsmen specialized in inlay works with mother-of-pearl flakes - had worked in the 14th century. Due to its shape and decorative style, this wonderful small table can be dated to the second part of the Ming dynasty. It is a refined and beautiful piece of furniture that fully preserves the best qualities of this peculiar and sophisticated of lacquer decoration technique. China, Ming dynasty, 15th - 16th century

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A circular carved lacquer box

Lot 48: A circular carved lacquer box

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Description: China, early Ming dynasty

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A red and black carved lacquer vase bottle

Lot 49: A red and black carved lacquer vase bottle

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Description: Vase with globular body and long neck, ending with a bulb externally coated with red and black lacquer, finely carved with arabesques and scenes of dames and children in the landscape. China, 19th century

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A cloisonne enamel dish

Lot 50: A cloisonne enamel dish

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Description: Important circular metal plate decorated with polychrome enamels applied according to the cloisonné technique. The decoration consists of a big central corolla surrounded by a delicate floral arabesque. A small plate with a similar decoration can be found in the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris ("Cloisonné. Chinese Enamels from Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties", catalogue of the exhibition curated by B. Quette, New York 2011, p. 233, no. 19). Another very similar one is illustrated in H. Brinker - A. Lutz, "Chinesisches Cloisonné. Die Sammlung Pierre Uldry", Zurich 1985, no. 73). China, Yuan / early Ming dynasty, 14th century

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