3667
3667
A SUPERB AND RARE CINNABAR LACQUER 'CHILONG' DISH
SONG DYNASTY
Estimate
3,000,0005,000,000
JUMP TO LOT
3667
A SUPERB AND RARE CINNABAR LACQUER 'CHILONG' DISH
SONG DYNASTY
Estimate
3,000,0005,000,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong

A SUPERB AND RARE CINNABAR LACQUER 'CHILONG' DISH
SONG DYNASTY
with shallow rounded sides supported on a countersunk base, the interior carved with a central medallion enclosing a pair of chilong sinuously clambering around two lingzhi blooms borne on meandering scrolls echoing the curling bifurcated tails of the sinuous chilong, encircled by pairs of chrysanthemum blooms borne on undulating leafy stems around the cavetto, the reverse carved with two rows of ruyi heads, the countersunk base lacquered red
19.6 cm, 7 5/8  in.
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Catalogue Note

This spectacular lacquer dish, intricately carved with a powerfully rendered design of a pair of chilong, is an extremely rare legacy of the Song dynasty. The artist has achieved a remarkable three-dimensional effect by intricately carving the dragons writhing amidst lingzhi, all framed by a border of luxuriant chrysanthemum flowers. In its form, overall quality and soft carving style, it is reminiscent of a polychrome dish with an individual chilong sold in our London rooms, 14th July 1981, lot 16 and again at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28th November 2012, lot 2082, from the Lee family collection. Both the dragons on the current dish and the other are rendered as magnificent three-clawed chilong.

Compare also the treatment of the pair of chilong on a box in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated in Chinese Art in Overseas Collections - Lacquerware, Taipei, 1987, p. 28, attributed to the Southern Song. The dragons are similarly depicted as on the current dish, rendered dynamically amidst lingzhi. For another example of Song carved cinnabar lacquer ware from the Song dynasty demonstrating similar intricate low-relief carving, see the treatment of the floral spray on a Song dynasty cinnabar lacquer cupstand originally from the Lee family collection, included in the exhibition Dragon and Phoenix. Chinese Lacquer Ware, The Lee Family Collection, The Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne, 1990, cat. no. 30. 

The motif of chilong is much more frequently found on Song ceramics, such as Ding ware.  See the Ding bowl incised with a chilong in a lotus pond in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in China at the Inception of the Second Millennium - Art and Culture of the Sung Dynasty, Taipei, 2000, p. 163, no. III-17. See also a moulded Ding dish illustrated ibid., p. 237, no. IV-55), similar to the current lacquer dish in depicting two chilong in the centre.

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong