442
442

PROPERTY FROM A HONG KONG PRIVATE FAMILY COLLECTION

A LARGE GILT-LACQUERED BRONZE FIGURE OF A DAOIST IMMORTAL
17TH CENTURY
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 875,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
442

PROPERTY FROM A HONG KONG PRIVATE FAMILY COLLECTION

A LARGE GILT-LACQUERED BRONZE FIGURE OF A DAOIST IMMORTAL
17TH CENTURY
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 875,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Chinese ‎Art including Selected Works of Art from the T.Y. Chao Family Collection

|
Hong Kong

A LARGE GILT-LACQUERED BRONZE FIGURE OF A DAOIST IMMORTAL
17TH CENTURY
possible depicting Wenchang Wang, cast seated on a chamfered pedestal with the hands folded before the chest, wearing loose robes engraved with dragons, the shoulders similarly decorated with roundels enclosing the sun and the moon respectively, the bearded face with a benevolent expression flanked by long pendulous ears, crowned by a tall official hat decorated with mountain and waves
84 cm, 33 1/8  in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Christie's London, 15th June 1998, lot 107.

Catalogue Note

Finely cast as a Daoist immortal wearing long robes sumptuously decorated with Daoist symbols, this figure is notable for its impressive size which together with the traces of gilt lacquer, hint at its original splendour. While its identification can only be speculated, the figure’s court attire, rectangular pendant around the neck and tall court hat are indicative of his elevated position in the Daoist pantheon. It may depict Wenchang Wang, also known as Wenchang dijun, the Daoist god of Culture and Literature, who is often depicted holding a ruyi-sceptre or a tablet.

The robe, ruyi-toed shoes, dragon design and lock pendant may be linked to a particular style of court dress that evolved from the Song dynasty through the Ming period, and was also worn by high-ranking figures in the Daoist pantheon.

Daoism flourished in the Ming dynasty under the Jiajing and Wanli Emperors, who were fervent supporters of Daoist practices promising the attainment of immortality. During the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, numerous bronze figures of Daoist deities were cast under imperial patronage or commissioned by wealthy families.

A closely related figure was sold in our London rooms, 24th July 1973, lot 154; and one wearing a slightly different hat and holding a tablet, was sold in these rooms, 8th October 2006, lot 1158. See also a smaller example sold in our New York rooms, 28th February 1980, lot 5; one sold in our London rooms, 30th October 1987, lot 416; another sold at Christie’s London, 12th June 1989, lot 96; and one inscribed with a cyclical date corresponding to 1567, sold in our London rooms, 16th November 1971, lot 23.

Chinese ‎Art including Selected Works of Art from the T.Y. Chao Family Collection

|
Hong Kong