Press Release  April 17, 2018

Bonhams Offers Rare Chinese Bronze at Auction

Courtesy Bonhams

A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Ding, Late Shang Dynasty, 12th/11th century BC, inscribed Yu

Bonhams is delighted to offer an exceptional selection of Chinese ceramics and works of art, for sale on 17 May 2018 at New Bond St, London. The highlights include rare works of art ranging from archaic bronzes, early ceramics and later porcelain, Buddhist stone sculptures, Buddhist and Daoist bronze figures to jade, Imperial silk textiles, Imperial lacquer wares and coromandel screens. Many of the objects boast important collection provenance, including from a Royal Collection, Lord Cunliffe, Marchese and Marchesa Taliani di Marchio, Marquesa de Sotomayor y Condesa de Alba Real, C.T. Loo, T.T. Tsui, Audrey B. Love, Maurice and Marguerite Sulzbach, Stanley Charles Nott, the Mengdiexuan Collection, the Reid Collection, and many other important collectors.

Leading the sale are two very rare archaic ritual bronze vessels: A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, fangding, late Shang/early Western Zhou dynasty, from the Mengdiexuan Collection, estimated at £120,000-150,000 (Lot 36); and a very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, ding, late Shang dynasty, 12th/11th century BC, which is estimated at £180,000-240,000, from the Reid Collection (Lot 31). Both vessels have been exhibited in important museums. Additionally, a rare archaic bronze wine vessel and cover, He, Warring States Period, estimated at £80,000-120,000 (Lot 34) will also be offered. This outstanding vessel with an unusual hinged beak mythical-bird spout, elaborately ornamented with zoomorphic motifs, is typical of Western Zhou bronzes from the South.

A very rare pair of monumental fahua Buddhist lions on stands, Late Ming Dynasty, 16th/17th century, measuring over 2 meters high, are estimated at £150,000 - 250,000 (Lot 70). This outstanding pair belongs to a specially commissioned statuary group that served as guardians, most likely for an important temple. Very few related sculptures of such massive proportions have survived, making this pair exceptionally rare. They were formerly in the collection of Audrey B. Love, a philanthropist and patron of the arts, and the daughter of Edith Guggenheim and Admiral Louis Josephthal, and were previously with the eminent Chinese art dealer C.T. Loo.

A large selection of Buddhist art includes a rare and large painting of the Cosmic Buddhas, East Tibet, 14th/early 15th century, which is estimated at £130,000 - 150,000 (Lot 107). This painting is a rare early surviving example depicting four of the Five Cosmic Buddhas. Unusually, the painting fuses elements of Tibetan pictorial traditions with Chinese stylistic conventions.

A select number of imposing lacquer screens will be offered, including a rare coromandel ten-leaf lacquer 'Palace' screen, cyclically dated to the Dingmao year, corresponding to 1687 and of the period, estimated at £70,000-100,000 (Lot 71); and a magnificent and rare twelve-leaf double-sided coromandel lacquer screen, Kangxi period, from a Royal Collection, which is estimated at £60,000-80,000 (Lot 75). Such screens were expensive and laborious to produce, and were aimed at high-ranking officials, scholars and gentry who commissioned them to commemorate important events. Also offered in the sale are a number of Imperial textiles including a rare Imperial yellow-ground embroidered 'nine dragon' kang cushion cover, Qianlong, estimated at £30,000-50,000 (Lot 74).

A selection of paintings by the artist Lin Fengmian (1900-1991), from distinguished European private collections, will also be offered with estimates ranging from £5,000-30,000 (Lots 307-315).


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