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274

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

A RARE PAIR OF BLACK AND GILT LACQUER 'DRAGON' LANTERN STANDS
QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
Estimate
80,000120,000
JUMP TO LOT
274

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

A RARE PAIR OF BLACK AND GILT LACQUER 'DRAGON' LANTERN STANDS
QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
Estimate
80,000120,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

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New York

A RARE PAIR OF BLACK AND GILT LACQUER 'DRAGON' LANTERN STANDS
QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
each stand emerging from an elaborate tripod stepped base, the three slab feet carved and gilt with scrolling clouds and leiwen, separated by three dragon heads emerging from the center pole decorated with further clouds wisps, the feet joined to the pole by ornate tapering spandrels of archaistic angular scrolls with details picked out in gilt, the detachable long staff finely carved in high relief with a brightly gilt, five-clawed dragon boldly coiled amid further clouds and extending the entire length of the black lacquered pole decorated with a gilt trellis pattern, the fierce head of the mythical beast arching over the top to form the lantern support; together with a pair of associated lanterns, 19th century, each of square-section carved with an openwork crown of red-and-gilt lacquer above a pierced waist the center section with upper and lower red and gilt lacquer openwork borders joined by slender knopped zitan columns at the corners and a wood frame enclosing four reverse-painted glass panels with floral sprays, wired for electricity (6)
Height 89 1/2  in., 227.3 cm 
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Provenance

Pelham Galleries, London, June 1988.

Catalogue Note

The ornate, intricate lacquer work and prominent dragon motif of the present lot indicates that the pair was likely to have been amongst the most lavish furnishings of the 18th century. Lantern stands of this kind were used for nighttime illumination of one of the many rooms of the grandest residential complexes. Although glass was introduced in the 18th century it is most likely that the present pair of stands originally suspended globular inside-painted horn lanterns. The dragon-head base and coiled-dragon-form stand is a motif seen in other media in the Qianlong period, for example a large cloisonné and gilt stand from the collection of Samuel Avery, illustrated in Avery Collection of Ancient Chinese Cloisonnes, Museum of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, Brooklyn, 1912, cat. no 84.

Related examples to the present pair include a pair with similar bases and gilt phoenix-head tops seen in a painting from an album ‘Strolling in the Moonlight’ by Chen Mei (c. 1694-1745) illustrated in The Golden Exile: Pictorial Expressions of the School of Western Missionaries’ Artworks of the Qing Dynasty Court, Museu de Arte de Macau, Macau, 2002, cat. no. 45, and a phoenix-head zitan pair photographed in a reception room in Imperial Life in the Qing Dynasty, Treasures from the Shenyang Palace Museum, Singapore, 1990, p. 58. Compare also a smaller pair of black lacquer and gilt phoenix-head lantern stands sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 7th July 2003, lot 60, and another pair described as 18th century and imperial of zitan wood also sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28th November 2012, lot 2041.

Important Chinese Art

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New York