Fri, 15th Oct 2021 10:00

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

 
  Lot 51
 

51

A CARVED TIANHUANG ‘QILIN’ SEAL FOR WEN XIANG, QING DYNASTY
清代田黃麒麟鈕印

China, 1644-1912. The square seal surmounted by a finial finely carved as a side-facing qilin standing foursquare, with a fierce expression, the pierced mouth slightly open revealing sharp fangs and tongue, the horn gently curving sideways with the body, the tail, mane, and goatee neatly incised, the claws and muscles well detailed. The seal is carved with four characters, two reading ‘Wen Xiang’.

Provenance: From a British private estate.
Condition: Very good condition with minor wear, light scratches, some nibbling and few small chips to edges, possibly another chip which has been polished, the stone with natural fissures, some of which may have developed into microscopic hairlines over time. Good patina.

Weight: 43.0 g
Dimensions: Size 4.8 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm

The fine coloration and luminosity of this tianhuang stone are skillfully accentuated through its intricately carved details which reveal the layers of subtle golden hues. The combination of carving in the round and low-relief detailing effectively captures the light as it shines on and passes through the seal to further intensify the richness of color.

Tianhuang is a type of soapstone that is valued for its warm yellow tones and lustrous sheen and was considered the rival to the finest and purest jade. Apart from being graded by its color, tianhuang was also priced according to its weight rather than size, hence making it one of the most expensive materials to carve.

Literature comparison: Compare a related tianhuang qilin seal, but of oval form, dated to the 18th century, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 2015.500.6.17.

Auction result comparison: Compare a closely related tianhuang square seal with a qilin, but of smaller size (3 cm) and slightly lower weight (37 g), at Christie’s Hong Kong in The Imperial Sale, Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, on 31 May 2017, lot 3040, sold for HKD 687,500. Compare also a slightly larger (5.2 cm high, 53 g) tianhuang seal carved with a very similar mythical beast, but dated to the early Qing, 17th century, at Christie’s Hong Kong in Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on 29 November 2017, lot 2943, sold for HKD 1,062,500.

清代田黃麒麟鈕印
中國,1644-1912年。方形印章精雕細刻麒麟鈕,活潑生動,大口微張,露出鋒利的獠牙和舌頭,頭部側彎,身體各部位細節豐富。 篆刻四字,其中兩字為“文祥“。

來源:英國私人收藏。
品相:狀況非常好,有輕微磨損和劃痕,邊緣少量磕損,局部可能有些磕損已經過拋光。帶有天然裂縫的石料,其中一些隨著時間的推移可能會發展成微小的細紋。 良好的包漿。

重量:43.0 克
尺寸:4.8 x 2.5 x 2.5 厘米

拍賣結果比較:一件田黃麒麟鈕方印,但尺寸稍小 (3 厘米)重量稍輕 (37 克), 見香港佳士得The Imperial Sale, Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art,2017年5月31 日,lot 3040,售價HKD 687,500。一件稍大 (高5.2 厘米, 53 克) 瑞獸鈕田黃印 ,清代初期,十七世紀,見香港佳士得 Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art,2017年11月29日,lot 2943, 售價HKD 1,062,500

Sold for €13,904

including Buyer's Premium


 

China, 1644-1912. The square seal surmounted by a finial finely carved as a side-facing qilin standing foursquare, with a fierce expression, the pierced mouth slightly open revealing sharp fangs and tongue, the horn gently curving sideways with the body, the tail, mane, and goatee neatly incised, the claws and muscles well detailed. The seal is carved with four characters, two reading ‘Wen Xiang’.

Provenance: From a British private estate.
Condition: Very good condition with minor wear, light scratches, some nibbling and few small chips to edges, possibly another chip which has been polished, the stone with natural fissures, some of which may have developed into microscopic hairlines over time. Good patina.

Weight: 43.0 g
Dimensions: Size 4.8 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm

The fine coloration and luminosity of this tianhuang stone are skillfully accentuated through its intricately carved details which reveal the layers of subtle golden hues. The combination of carving in the round and low-relief detailing effectively captures the light as it shines on and passes through the seal to further intensify the richness of color.

Tianhuang is a type of soapstone that is valued for its warm yellow tones and lustrous sheen and was considered the rival to the finest and purest jade. Apart from being graded by its color, tianhuang was also priced according to its weight rather than size, hence making it one of the most expensive materials to carve.

Literature comparison: Compare a related tianhuang qilin seal, but of oval form, dated to the 18th century, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 2015.500.6.17.

Auction result comparison: Compare a closely related tianhuang square seal with a qilin, but of smaller size (3 cm) and slightly lower weight (37 g), at Christie’s Hong Kong in The Imperial Sale, Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, on 31 May 2017, lot 3040, sold for HKD 687,500. Compare also a slightly larger (5.2 cm high, 53 g) tianhuang seal carved with a very similar mythical beast, but dated to the early Qing, 17th century, at Christie’s Hong Kong in Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on 29 November 2017, lot 2943, sold for HKD 1,062,500.

清代田黃麒麟鈕印
中國,1644-1912年。方形印章精雕細刻麒麟鈕,活潑生動,大口微張,露出鋒利的獠牙和舌頭,頭部側彎,身體各部位細節豐富。 篆刻四字,其中兩字為“文祥“。

來源:英國私人收藏。
品相:狀況非常好,有輕微磨損和劃痕,邊緣少量磕損,局部可能有些磕損已經過拋光。帶有天然裂縫的石料,其中一些隨著時間的推移可能會發展成微小的細紋。 良好的包漿。

重量:43.0 克
尺寸:4.8 x 2.5 x 2.5 厘米

拍賣結果比較:一件田黃麒麟鈕方印,但尺寸稍小 (3 厘米)重量稍輕 (37 克), 見香港佳士得The Imperial Sale, Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art,2017年5月31 日,lot 3040,售價HKD 687,500。一件稍大 (高5.2 厘米, 53 克) 瑞獸鈕田黃印 ,清代初期,十七世紀,見香港佳士得 Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art,2017年11月29日,lot 2943, 售價HKD 1,062,500

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