For millennia, China has produced outstanding works of art that remain as admired, and coveted, today as they were when first created.
As a world-renowned auction house with a 250-year history, Christie’s is the leading expert in all things art-related – including Chinese works of art. Christie’s seasonal auctions offer the most reliable opportunity to view and acquire pieces of great aesthetic and historical value.
This season, Christie’s presents four themed sales that epitomise exceptional moments throughout Chinese history with more than 300 rare and important ceramics and works of art. These include Ming and Qing Imperial porcelain, archaic jades, Tang and Song ceramics, Buddhist works of art and a variety of scholar’s objects – many of which with exceptional provenance.
The Yongzheng Emperor’s Double-Dragon Amphora
This magnificent imperial vase made during the Yongzheng reign (1723-1735) in the Qing dynasty is uniquely composed of two dragon handles flanking a bamboo-form neck above a baluster body, inspired by Tang-dynasty (618-907) pottery amphorae, covered with a resplendent bluish-green glaze that echoes Longquan celadon wares in the Song dynasty (960-1279). The size and intricacy of this piece made it extremely difficult to fire, with only three other identical examples surviving today, two of which are in important museum collections.
As a highly important piece, this Yongzheng-period amphora will be offered as a single lot stand-alone sale.
The Perfect Countenance – Fine Buddhist Works of Art comprises 20 pieces of exceptional Buddhist works of art spanning from the 5th to 18th century. One important highlight is an exceedingly rare 13-14th century Tibetan seated figure of Buddha Shakyamuni. A paragon of Himalayan casting techniques and masterful expertise, the figure itself is fire gilt, while the beaded hems of the robes are picked out in silver inlay, which is incredibly rare for this early period of Tibetan art.
A highly important and very rare malla-style gilt-bronze and
silver-inlaid seated figure of Buddha Shakyamuni Tibet, 13th-14th century. 15¾ in. (40 cm.) high. Estimate on request.
A very rare imperial early Ming large gilt-bronze figure of Caturbhuja Manjusri
Xuande incised six-character presentation mark and of the period (1426-1435). 10 in. (25.5 cm.) high.
Adorning the Kings – A Private Collection of Archaic Jade Ornaments showcases a remarkable private collection of archaic jade pieces, mostly from the Eastern Zhou (770-256 BC) and Han (206 BC-AD 220) dynasties. Of particular importance are a set of three sword fittings and a sword guard, which feature extraordinarily detailed carving and exemplify the best jade workmanship of the Western Han period (206 BC-AD 8).
An important set of three jade ‘chilong’ sword fittings and a jade sword guard
Western Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 8). The largest: 3 1/2 in. (8.8 cm.) wide.
A very rare jade ‘dragon’ pendant
Western Han dynasty (206 BC-8 AD). 3 1/2 in. (9 cm.) long.
The Imperial Sale and Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art presents a wide array of Chinese ceramics and works of art of different media, the cover lot being a very rare famille rose porcelain jar made during the Qianlong reign (1736-1795) of the Qing dynasty. This finely potted jar features a playful theme of sixteen boys in a variety of lively pursuits- a theme favoured by the Chinese for centuries as auspicious motifs of fertility and of bearing numerous sons. Another noteworthy group is nine pieces of celadon wares made at the Longquan kilns in Zhejiang area during the Yuan (1279-1368) and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties, all from distinguished collector Roger Belanich.
A massive and very rare Longquan celadon barbed-rim charger
Hongwu period (1368-1398). 24 ½ in. (62.2 cm.) diam.
A fine and very rare famille rose ‘boys’ jar
Qianlong six-character seal mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1736-1795). 6 in. (15.3 cm.) high.