A Large Bronze 'Central Asian and Buddhist Lion' Incense Burner and Cover Late Ming Dynasty
400,000 - 600,000 HKD
bidding is closed
the heavily cast body in the form of a Central Asiatic figure adorned in loose robes, holding his left hand in the air, the hollow sleeve providing an outlet for incense smoke, depicted seated on a large Buddhist lion, the figure rising to provide an oval opening to allow access to the interior of the lion’s body, the lion naturalistically cast with a proud ferocious expression and taut muscular body, the figure’s right hand on the back of a smaller Buddhist lion with an open mouth to allow the egress of smoke, the two mutually gazing at each other, with a third, smaller lion on his head, his boots showing beneath the folds of his robes, all seated upon a separate lion, with flames emerging from its flanks, turning its head to look at the figure on his back, with a collar and a dangling bell around its neck
Sotheby’s London, 12th June 2003, lot 83.
Central Asian figures are often depicted in association with Buddhist lions, as traditionally Buddhism came to China from Central Asia along the Silk Road. The duo of a Central Asian figure and Buddhist lion form part of the standard Ming and Qing image of tribute bearers coming to the Chinese court, demonstrating Chinese supremacy.