3618
3618

PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

A RARE MASSIVE DATED BRONZE TEMPLE BELL
QING DYNASTY, KANGXI PERIOD, DATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH 1699
Estimate
6,000,0008,000,000
JUMP TO LOT
3618

PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

A RARE MASSIVE DATED BRONZE TEMPLE BELL
QING DYNASTY, KANGXI PERIOD, DATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH 1699
Estimate
6,000,0008,000,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong

A RARE MASSIVE DATED BRONZE TEMPLE BELL
QING DYNASTY, KANGXI PERIOD, DATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH 1699
heavily cast, the slightly spreading cylindrical body with a scalloped rim, cast in thread relief with two registers of rectangular panels enclosing a thirteen-line calligraphic inscription and dated to the 38th year of the Kangxi reign, all below a lotus-lappet band and surmounted by a two-headed dragon crown, the metal patinated to a dark brown tone, elaborate carved wood 'dragon' stand and wooden mallet
overall 155 cm, 61 in.
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Provenance

Collection of Henry Peirson Harland, London, acquired in Tianjin, 1910.
Sotheby's London, 14th May 2008, lot 670.
An Asian private collection.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8th April 2010, lot 1849.

Catalogue Note

The present bell of impressive size, sturdily cast with unusual foliate rims and surmounted by a powerful two-dragon crown, is an object of devotion, probably made for a monastery in the early Qing dynasty. According to the inscription, the bell can be dated to the 4th month in the 38th year of the Kangxi period (1699) and was commissioned by a group of devotees from Shanyin, Shaoxing county, Zhejiang, who prayed that their patronage would bring themselves and their families longevity and prosperity.

A Buddhist bell of similar shape but smaller size, dated by inscription to the 58th year of the Kangxi reign (1719), from the Shanyuan monastery, now in the Ancient Bell Museum, Beijing, was included in the exhibition La voix du dragon, Trésors Archéologiques et Art Campanaire de la Chine Ancienne, Musée de la Musique, Paris, 2000cat. no. 107; together with a larger example, with a cyclical date corresponding to 1702, cat. no. 106. See also one dated to 1707 from the Bailin Monastery, now also preserved in the Ancient Bell Museum, Beijing. Another bell of this type, with stylised characters and attributed to the Kangxi reign, was sold in these rooms, 14th November 1990, lot 420.

Quan Jinyou in ‘L’histoire des cloches anciennes fanzhong en Chine’, La voix du dragon, op. cit., pp. 231-237, discusses bells of this type, noting that they developed with the introduction of Buddhism during the Han dynasty, when the term fanzhong began to be used. The earliest surviving bell with foliate rim, is however attributed to the Northern Song dynasty, ibid., cat. no. 76. Bells of this type grew in popularity during the Ming dynasty, when a large number of examples appear to have been cast. See for examples, a Buddhist and a Daoist bell, particularly similar in shape to the present example and also cast with rectangular panels under a band of lotus petals, from the Zhengde period, included ibid., cat. nos 85 and 86. Compare also a bell dated to 1532, in the Ethnographic Museum, Stockholm, illustrated in Sheila Riddell, Dated Chinese Antiquities, London, 1979, pl. 125, together with one of a similar form but decorated with archaistic animals and with an inscription dating it to 1499, pl. 124.

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong