Fri, 15th Oct 2021 10:00

TWO-DAY AUCTION - Fine Chinese Art / 中國藝術集珍 / Buddhism & Hinduism

 
  Lot 22
 

22

A ‘MANDARIN DUCK’ SILVER BOX AND COVER, TANG DYNASTY
唐代“鴛鴦戲荷塘”銀蓋盒

China, 618-907. Both sides of the convex box are finely chased, the cover with a mandarin duck perched atop a flowering lotus pod and the base with a roaring lion, surrounded by foliate scrolls, the upright sides with further leafy scroll, all on a ring-punched ground.

Provenance: Lempertz, Cologne, 3 June 1981, lot 977 (illustrated on the front cover), sold for DM 26,900 which corresponds to approximately EUR 41,300 in today’s currency after inflation. Collection of Dr. Peter Nicolaus, acquired from the above and thence by descent within the same family. Dr. Peter Nicolaus (1940-2020) was an Austrian United Nations diplomat and representative for the UN Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who was active in Afghanistan, Armenia, Cambodia, Georgia, Myanmar, Iraq, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan.
Condition: Excellent condition with minor old wear, traces of use, and a fine, naturally grown, dark patina. The inside with some traces of corrosion and remnants of encrustation.

Weight: 49.9 g
Dimensions: Diameter 4.8 cm

The lion is an animal not native to China, and the Chinese term shizi may be derived from the Persian sir, see C. Michaelson, Gilded Dragons: Buried Treasures from China's Golden Ages, London, 1999, page 122. The association of the lion with Buddhism, and with the promulgation and defense of this religion, may explain its popularity on Tang period objects. The lotus too bears Buddhist connotations of purity, whilst also symbolizing fertility with its prominent seed pod. The mandarin duck is associated with conjugal happiness. Pairs of ducks are more commonly found on Tang pieces, whilst the single duck with a lotus is much rarer. The combination of all these subtle references is indicative of the cosmopolitan and religiously diverse Tang period, and its pervasive influence on later Chinese dynasties.

Literature comparison: A very similiar silver box and cover from the collection of Desmond Gore, London is published in Mostra D’Arte Cinese, Venedig 1954, Cat.-no. 271.

Auction result comparison: Compare a closely related but slightly smaller (4.4 cm diameter) silver box and cover, also dated to the Tang dynasty and chased with Mandarin ducks, at Christie’s New York in Masterpieces of Early Chinese Gold and Silver on 12 September 2019, lot 544, sold for USD 102,500, and another (4 cm diameter) with near-identical decoration at Bonhams New York in Chinese Paintings and Works of Art on 14 September 2015, lot 8071, sold for USD 50,000.

唐代“鴛鴦戲荷塘”銀蓋盒
中國,618-907年。蓋盒兩面雕琢精細,蓋上可見鴛鴦戲荷,盒底雕一隻吼狮,周圍卷葉紋,側面同樣為卷葉紋,背景為圓點紋。

來源:德國科隆Lempertz 拍賣行1981年6月3 日 lot 977 (見封面),售價DM 26,900(相當於如今 EUR 41,300);Peter Nicolaus博士私人收藏,購於上述拍賣,保存在同一家族至今。Peter Nicolaus (1940-2020) 博士是奧地利聯合國外交官和聯合國難民署 (UNHCR) 的代表,活躍於阿富汗、亞美尼亞、柬埔寨、格魯吉亞、緬甸、伊拉克、斯里蘭卡和烏茲別克斯坦。
品相:狀況極佳,輕微磨損、使用痕跡和自然包漿,内裏有一些腐蝕的痕跡和結殼的殘留物。

重量:49.9 克
尺寸:直徑 4.8 厘米

獅子不是中國本土的動物,中文中的“獅子”可能源自波斯,見 C. Michaelson,Gilded Dragons: Buried Treasures from China's Golden Ages,倫敦,1999 年,第 122 頁。 獅子與佛教有關,隨著佛教的傳播,獅子在唐代物品上越來越盛行。荷花也象徵了佛教的純潔,同時也因爲她的蓮子象徵著生育。鴛鴦象徵夫妻成雙幸福圓滿。所有這些微妙組合表明了唐朝時中國的國際化和宗教多元化,以及它對中國後來的王朝的影響。

拍賣結果比較:比較一件稍小 (直徑4.4 厘米) 的鴛鴦紋銀蓋盒,同樣為唐朝,見紐約佳士得Masterpieces of Early Chinese Gold and Silver 2019年9月12日 lot 544, 售價USD 102,500 ;另外一件 (直徑4 厘米) 相似紋飾,見紐約邦翰思Chinese Paintings and Works of Art 2015年9月14日 lot 8071, 售價USD 50,000

Sold for €16,432

including Buyer's Premium


 

China, 618-907. Both sides of the convex box are finely chased, the cover with a mandarin duck perched atop a flowering lotus pod and the base with a roaring lion, surrounded by foliate scrolls, the upright sides with further leafy scroll, all on a ring-punched ground.

Provenance: Lempertz, Cologne, 3 June 1981, lot 977 (illustrated on the front cover), sold for DM 26,900 which corresponds to approximately EUR 41,300 in today’s currency after inflation. Collection of Dr. Peter Nicolaus, acquired from the above and thence by descent within the same family. Dr. Peter Nicolaus (1940-2020) was an Austrian United Nations diplomat and representative for the UN Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who was active in Afghanistan, Armenia, Cambodia, Georgia, Myanmar, Iraq, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan.
Condition: Excellent condition with minor old wear, traces of use, and a fine, naturally grown, dark patina. The inside with some traces of corrosion and remnants of encrustation.

Weight: 49.9 g
Dimensions: Diameter 4.8 cm

The lion is an animal not native to China, and the Chinese term shizi may be derived from the Persian sir, see C. Michaelson, Gilded Dragons: Buried Treasures from China's Golden Ages, London, 1999, page 122. The association of the lion with Buddhism, and with the promulgation and defense of this religion, may explain its popularity on Tang period objects. The lotus too bears Buddhist connotations of purity, whilst also symbolizing fertility with its prominent seed pod. The mandarin duck is associated with conjugal happiness. Pairs of ducks are more commonly found on Tang pieces, whilst the single duck with a lotus is much rarer. The combination of all these subtle references is indicative of the cosmopolitan and religiously diverse Tang period, and its pervasive influence on later Chinese dynasties.

Literature comparison: A very similiar silver box and cover from the collection of Desmond Gore, London is published in Mostra D’Arte Cinese, Venedig 1954, Cat.-no. 271.

Auction result comparison: Compare a closely related but slightly smaller (4.4 cm diameter) silver box and cover, also dated to the Tang dynasty and chased with Mandarin ducks, at Christie’s New York in Masterpieces of Early Chinese Gold and Silver on 12 September 2019, lot 544, sold for USD 102,500, and another (4 cm diameter) with near-identical decoration at Bonhams New York in Chinese Paintings and Works of Art on 14 September 2015, lot 8071, sold for USD 50,000.

唐代“鴛鴦戲荷塘”銀蓋盒
中國,618-907年。蓋盒兩面雕琢精細,蓋上可見鴛鴦戲荷,盒底雕一隻吼狮,周圍卷葉紋,側面同樣為卷葉紋,背景為圓點紋。

來源:德國科隆Lempertz 拍賣行1981年6月3 日 lot 977 (見封面),售價DM 26,900(相當於如今 EUR 41,300);Peter Nicolaus博士私人收藏,購於上述拍賣,保存在同一家族至今。Peter Nicolaus (1940-2020) 博士是奧地利聯合國外交官和聯合國難民署 (UNHCR) 的代表,活躍於阿富汗、亞美尼亞、柬埔寨、格魯吉亞、緬甸、伊拉克、斯里蘭卡和烏茲別克斯坦。
品相:狀況極佳,輕微磨損、使用痕跡和自然包漿,内裏有一些腐蝕的痕跡和結殼的殘留物。

重量:49.9 克
尺寸:直徑 4.8 厘米

獅子不是中國本土的動物,中文中的“獅子”可能源自波斯,見 C. Michaelson,Gilded Dragons: Buried Treasures from China's Golden Ages,倫敦,1999 年,第 122 頁。 獅子與佛教有關,隨著佛教的傳播,獅子在唐代物品上越來越盛行。荷花也象徵了佛教的純潔,同時也因爲她的蓮子象徵著生育。鴛鴦象徵夫妻成雙幸福圓滿。所有這些微妙組合表明了唐朝時中國的國際化和宗教多元化,以及它對中國後來的王朝的影響。

拍賣結果比較:比較一件稍小 (直徑4.4 厘米) 的鴛鴦紋銀蓋盒,同樣為唐朝,見紐約佳士得Masterpieces of Early Chinese Gold and Silver 2019年9月12日 lot 544, 售價USD 102,500 ;另外一件 (直徑4 厘米) 相似紋飾,見紐約邦翰思Chinese Paintings and Works of Art 2015年9月14日 lot 8071, 售價USD 50,000

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