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A ROCK CRYSTAL SPHERE WITH A GILT BRONZE LOTUS BASE, QING DYNASTY
清代水晶球及銅鎏金蓮座

China, 1644-1912. The rock crystal of near perfect spherical form and good clarity, fitting perfectly into the Chinese or Tibetan gilt bronze base, finely crafted in the form of overlapping lotus leaves on a stepped square plinth cast with lotus lappets and Buddhist lions.

Provenance: The present sphere is from the Josette and Théo Schulmann Collection, Paris, France. Acquired c. 1960-1970. Josette and Théo Schulmann were passionate dealers of Asian Art and have donated several important works to the Cernuschi Museum.
Condition: The sphere is in good condition with light scratches, few minor nicks, as well as natural inclusions and fissures, some of which may have developed into small hairline cracks over time. The base is in excellent condition with old wear, small nicks and dents, some wear to gilt and a fine, naturally grown patina.

Weight: 1,494 g (the sphere) and 636.4 g (the base)
Dimensions: Diameter 10 cm (the sphere), Height 10.5 cm (the base) and 16.5 cm (the sphere and base)

A near identical, but larger rock crystal sphere is in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum), object number C681A. It was purchased in 1927 from the Far East Shop of John Wanamaker's famous department store in Philadelphia in memory of George Byron Gordon, the recently deceased Director of the Penn Museum. In the booklet that accompanied its sale, the department store advanced an exciting tale of the sphere’s exotic origins, implying that it had once belonged to the Empress Dowager Cixi (1836-1908 AD) of China. No evidence has ever come to light that supports this or any other account of the sphere's origins. It is believed to be the third largest crystal sphere in the world, with a diameter of 25.4 cm.

Empress Cixi (1835-1908) was a Chinese empress dowager and regent who was the de facto supreme ruler of China in the late Qing dynasty for 47 years, from 1861 until her death in 1908. Selected as a concubine of the Xianfeng Emperor in her adolescence, she gave birth to a son, Zaichun, in 1856. After the Xianfeng Emperor's death in 1861, the young boy became the Tongzhi Emperor, and she became the Empress Dowager. In 1872, the Tongzhi Emperor turned 17 and was married to the Jiashun Empress. The empress's grandfather, Prince Zheng, was one of the eight regents ousted from power in the Xinyou Coup of 1861 and was ordered to commit suicide after Cixi's victory. As a consequence, there were tensions between Cixi and the empress, and this was often a source of irritation for Cixi. Moreover, the empress's zodiac symbol of a tiger was perceived as life-threatening by the highly superstitious Cixi, whose own zodiac symbol was a goat. According to Cixi's belief, which she reputedly formed while looking into her crystal sphere, it was a warning from the gods that she would eventually fall prey to the empress.

Auction result comparison: Compare with a related rock crystal sphere of slightly larger size (12.8 cm in diameter), together with a wood stand, at Sotheby’s New York in Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on 23 March 2011, lot 617, sold for USD 21,250.

清代水晶球及銅鎏金蓮座
中國,1644-1912年。接近於完美球形的水晶,具有良好的清晰度,完美地與中國或西藏的鎏金銅蓮座融合。蓮座基底為方形,上面可見蓮蓬與佛獅。

來源: 法國巴黎Josette and Théo Schulmann 收藏。大約購於 1960-1970年間。Josette and Théo Schulmann 曾是熱情的亞洲藝術商與Cernuschi Museum 衆多重要藝術品的捐助者。
圖片:Josette Schulmann, Théo Schulmann
品相:該球體狀況良好,有輕度的划痕,極少的划痕以及自然的夾雜物和裂縫,隨著時間的推移,其中一些可能會發展成細小的裂縫。 底座狀況良好,有舊磨損,小刻痕和凹痕,有些鎏金磨損,還有自然生長的包漿。

重量:水晶球1,494 克,底座636.4 克
尺寸:水晶球直徑10 厘米, 底座高10.5 厘米,水晶球與底座一起16.5 厘米

拍賣結果比較:一件相似但尺寸較大水晶球及木製底座,售于紐約蘇富比Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art 拍場2011年3月 23日,lot 617, 售價USD 21,250。

Sold for €9,150

including Buyer's Premium


 

China, 1644-1912. The rock crystal of near perfect spherical form and good clarity, fitting perfectly into the Chinese or Tibetan gilt bronze base, finely crafted in the form of overlapping lotus leaves on a stepped square plinth cast with lotus lappets and Buddhist lions.

Provenance: The present sphere is from the Josette and Théo Schulmann Collection, Paris, France. Acquired c. 1960-1970. Josette and Théo Schulmann were passionate dealers of Asian Art and have donated several important works to the Cernuschi Museum.
Condition: The sphere is in good condition with light scratches, few minor nicks, as well as natural inclusions and fissures, some of which may have developed into small hairline cracks over time. The base is in excellent condition with old wear, small nicks and dents, some wear to gilt and a fine, naturally grown patina.

Weight: 1,494 g (the sphere) and 636.4 g (the base)
Dimensions: Diameter 10 cm (the sphere), Height 10.5 cm (the base) and 16.5 cm (the sphere and base)

A near identical, but larger rock crystal sphere is in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum), object number C681A. It was purchased in 1927 from the Far East Shop of John Wanamaker's famous department store in Philadelphia in memory of George Byron Gordon, the recently deceased Director of the Penn Museum. In the booklet that accompanied its sale, the department store advanced an exciting tale of the sphere’s exotic origins, implying that it had once belonged to the Empress Dowager Cixi (1836-1908 AD) of China. No evidence has ever come to light that supports this or any other account of the sphere's origins. It is believed to be the third largest crystal sphere in the world, with a diameter of 25.4 cm.

Empress Cixi (1835-1908) was a Chinese empress dowager and regent who was the de facto supreme ruler of China in the late Qing dynasty for 47 years, from 1861 until her death in 1908. Selected as a concubine of the Xianfeng Emperor in her adolescence, she gave birth to a son, Zaichun, in 1856. After the Xianfeng Emperor's death in 1861, the young boy became the Tongzhi Emperor, and she became the Empress Dowager. In 1872, the Tongzhi Emperor turned 17 and was married to the Jiashun Empress. The empress's grandfather, Prince Zheng, was one of the eight regents ousted from power in the Xinyou Coup of 1861 and was ordered to commit suicide after Cixi's victory. As a consequence, there were tensions between Cixi and the empress, and this was often a source of irritation for Cixi. Moreover, the empress's zodiac symbol of a tiger was perceived as life-threatening by the highly superstitious Cixi, whose own zodiac symbol was a goat. According to Cixi's belief, which she reputedly formed while looking into her crystal sphere, it was a warning from the gods that she would eventually fall prey to the empress.

Auction result comparison: Compare with a related rock crystal sphere of slightly larger size (12.8 cm in diameter), together with a wood stand, at Sotheby’s New York in Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on 23 March 2011, lot 617, sold for USD 21,250.

清代水晶球及銅鎏金蓮座
中國,1644-1912年。接近於完美球形的水晶,具有良好的清晰度,完美地與中國或西藏的鎏金銅蓮座融合。蓮座基底為方形,上面可見蓮蓬與佛獅。

來源: 法國巴黎Josette and Théo Schulmann 收藏。大約購於 1960-1970年間。Josette and Théo Schulmann 曾是熱情的亞洲藝術商與Cernuschi Museum 衆多重要藝術品的捐助者。
圖片:Josette Schulmann, Théo Schulmann
品相:該球體狀況良好,有輕度的划痕,極少的划痕以及自然的夾雜物和裂縫,隨著時間的推移,其中一些可能會發展成細小的裂縫。 底座狀況良好,有舊磨損,小刻痕和凹痕,有些鎏金磨損,還有自然生長的包漿。

重量:水晶球1,494 克,底座636.4 克
尺寸:水晶球直徑10 厘米, 底座高10.5 厘米,水晶球與底座一起16.5 厘米

拍賣結果比較:一件相似但尺寸較大水晶球及木製底座,售于紐約蘇富比Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art 拍場2011年3月 23日,lot 617, 售價USD 21,250。

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