Lot 54
  • 54

A VERY FINE AND RARE PARCEL-GILT SILVER BOWL TANG DYNASTY, 8TH/9TH CENTURY

Estimate
350,000 - 400,000 GBP
Sold
1,140,500 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • 24.5cm, 9 5/8in.
    WEIGHT 800g.
rendered in the shape of an open lotus flower with everted rim and flat base, the slightly flared sides decorated with three bands of overlapping lotus petals in repousse work, each petal finely engraved and gilt on the exterior with a pair of confronting birds in flight amidst lush foliage and separated by a floral rosette, the tips of a fourth band of petals and a band of upright lappets visible below the rim, the interior superbly engraved to the centre with a central gilt medallion formed by four pairs of confronting birds radiating from a central ribbon and interspersed with flowering branches

Exhibited

Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1954-55, cat. no. 117.

Bo Gyllensvärd, Chinese Gold, Silver and Porcelain. The Kempe Collection, Asia House Gallery, New York, 1971, cat. no. 37.

Literature

Bo Gyllensvärd, Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1953, pl. 117.

Bo Gyllensvärd, 'T'ang Gold and Silver', Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, no.29, 1957, pl. 24b, fig. 39c.

Han Wei, Hai nei wai Tangdai jin yin qi cuibian [Tang gold and silver in Chinese and overseas collections], Xi'an, 1989, pl. 146.

Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, The Museum of Art and Far Eastern Antiquities in Ulricehamn, Ulricehamn, 1999, pl. 119.

Catalogue Note

The present exquisitely fashioned bowl is among the finest examples of silverwork made by Chinese artisans during the Tang dynasty. Only one other comparable example appears to be recorded, a bowl of much larger dimensions but of the same shape and design probably made by the same craftsman, in the Hakutsuru Fine Art Museum, Kobe, illustrated in Sekai bijutsu taizenshu: Toyo hen, vol. 4, Tokyo, 1997, pls. 169-170.

The decorative pattern of overlapping lotus petals can also be seen on the famous gold bowl excavated in 1970 from Prince Bin's treasure hoard at Hejiacun, Shaanxi province, currently in the Shaanxi History Museum, where the petals enclose images of birds and beasts. This bowl is illustrated in numerous publications including Zhongguo jin yin boli falangqi quanji, vol. 2, Shijiazhuang, 2004, pl. 9. Other variations of the lotus petal design can be seen on a lotus-shaped bowl from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick M. Mayer, New York, included in the exhibition The Arts of the Tang Dynasty, Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, 1957, cat. no. 334, together with a bowl from the Hakutsuru Art Museum, also in the form of a lotus flower with the exterior divided into large and small petal-shaped lobes in repousse work, cat.no. 333.

Compare also a bowl with walls similarly decorated in repousse to resemble wavy petals, included in the exhibition Selected Treasures from Hejiacun Tang Hoard, Shaanxi History Museum, Taipei, 2003, cat. no. 20.

 

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