28th Jun, 2024 11:00

Fine Asian Art Summer Sale

 
  Lot 100
 

100

A PAIR OF TURQUOISE-INLAID CLOISONNE ENAMEL ‘PEACOCK’ CENSERS AND COVERS, QING DYNASTY

Sold for €2,080

including Buyer's Premium


Lot details

China, 19th to early 20th century. Each modeled as a peacock standing on scaled legs with clawed feet on a craggy rockwork base, the head turned to one side with the beak slightly agape. Their eye-spotted trains finely worked in filigree and inlaid with turquoise, the crests similarly decorated. Their bodies and the bases finely decorated in bright enamels against a turquoise ground with stylized feathers in the form of archaistic scroll and hook-patterns, the wings detachable functioning as the covers. (2)

Provenance: English trade.
Condition: Very good condition with minor wear and manufacturing irregularities. Minor nicks and losses to the enamel with associated old fills. Some turquoise inlays lost or replaced. Some of the wires bent or lost. Overall displaying remarkably well.

Weight: 1,353 g and 1,368 g
Dimensions: Height 35 cm (each)

Incense burners in the form of peacocks are very rare. They form part of a small group of cloisonné birds from the Qianlong period, mostly intended for use as incense burners, which are notable for their unusually naturalistic detailing and poses. Peacocks were considered auspicious birds, and it is known that such birds were kept by the Qianlong Emperor in the palace grounds. A large hanging scroll entitled Qianlong guan kong que kai ping (‘Emperor Qianlong watching the Peacock in its pride’), dated to the cyclical wuyin year (1758), depicts a scene of the seated Emperor observing peacocks in the imperial gardens. See The Complete Collection of the Treasures of the Palace Museum, Paintings of the Court Artists of the Qing Court, Hong Kong, 1996, pp. 194-195. The inscription on the painting recorded by the Emperor indicates that peacocks were sent as tributary gifts from foreign dignitaries. The Emperor further noted on the painting that when at leisure he took pleasure in watching these curious birds sway their bodies around the palace grounds; that he admired their beautiful feathers; and that, after five years of nurture, the birds had learned to fan their tails.

Auction result comparison:
Type: Closely related
Auction: Christie’s London, 11 September 2008, lot 143
Price: GBP 5,000 or approx. EUR 10,000 converted and adjusted for inflation at the time of writing
Description: A pair of Chinese cloisonne models of peacocks, late 19th/early 20th century
Expert remark: Compare the closely related form and decoration with similar use of filigree and inlays. Note the size (51.5 cm).

 

China, 19th to early 20th century. Each modeled as a peacock standing on scaled legs with clawed feet on a craggy rockwork base, the head turned to one side with the beak slightly agape. Their eye-spotted trains finely worked in filigree and inlaid with turquoise, the crests similarly decorated. Their bodies and the bases finely decorated in bright enamels against a turquoise ground with stylized feathers in the form of archaistic scroll and hook-patterns, the wings detachable functioning as the covers. (2)

Provenance: English trade.
Condition: Very good condition with minor wear and manufacturing irregularities. Minor nicks and losses to the enamel with associated old fills. Some turquoise inlays lost or replaced. Some of the wires bent or lost. Overall displaying remarkably well.

Weight: 1,353 g and 1,368 g
Dimensions: Height 35 cm (each)

Incense burners in the form of peacocks are very rare. They form part of a small group of cloisonné birds from the Qianlong period, mostly intended for use as incense burners, which are notable for their unusually naturalistic detailing and poses. Peacocks were considered auspicious birds, and it is known that such birds were kept by the Qianlong Emperor in the palace grounds. A large hanging scroll entitled Qianlong guan kong que kai ping (‘Emperor Qianlong watching the Peacock in its pride’), dated to the cyclical wuyin year (1758), depicts a scene of the seated Emperor observing peacocks in the imperial gardens. See The Complete Collection of the Treasures of the Palace Museum, Paintings of the Court Artists of the Qing Court, Hong Kong, 1996, pp. 194-195. The inscription on the painting recorded by the Emperor indicates that peacocks were sent as tributary gifts from foreign dignitaries. The Emperor further noted on the painting that when at leisure he took pleasure in watching these curious birds sway their bodies around the palace grounds; that he admired their beautiful feathers; and that, after five years of nurture, the birds had learned to fan their tails.

Auction result comparison:
Type: Closely related
Auction: Christie’s London, 11 September 2008, lot 143
Price: GBP 5,000 or approx. EUR 10,000 converted and adjusted for inflation at the time of writing
Description: A pair of Chinese cloisonne models of peacocks, late 19th/early 20th century
Expert remark: Compare the closely related form and decoration with similar use of filigree and inlays. Note the size (51.5 cm).

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