The inscriptions on either side read Kangxi wu nian zao, corresponding to the year 1666 AD, and Zhong lu, which possibly indicates a classical pitch.
The present bell is rare in that it is decorated with striding dragons and cloud scrolls, and also represents one of the earliest examples of bells of this type. Compare a similar bell with dragons on the sides, but dated to the 55th year of the Kangxi reign (corresponding to 1716 AD), which was included in the exhibition Treasures from the Palace Museum, Tokyo, 1982, cat.no. 3.
Related bells of similar form and handle are usually cast with alternating bosses and trigrams as opposed to dragons in relief found on the present piece. Bells of this form are dated to different years of Kangxi’s reign and are believed to have come from a set made for the Temple of Agriculture at Beijing. See, for example, one dated 1713 AD, sold at Sotheby’s Country House Sale at Easton Neston, Northamptonshire, England, 18th May 2005, lot 762; and two sets of five bells dated 1714 and 1716 AD from the C. Ruxton and Audrey B. Love collection, sold at Christie's New York, 20th October 2004, lots 455 and 456, respectively. Compare also two bells sold in these roms, one from the Allen J. Mercher collection, 1st November 1956, lot 40; and the other from the J. Piermont Morgan collection, lot 41. Another Kangxi bell of the same pattern is illustrated in Zhongguo meishu quanji, vol. 10, Beijing, 1987, pl. 176; and a complete carillon of similar bells dated 1713 AD were included in the exhibition, La Cité interdite; Vie publique et privée des empereurs de Chine (1644-1911), Musée du Petit Palais, Paris, 1996, pp. 170-1.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale