801
801
A SILVER-INLAID BRONZE 'CHAMPION' VASE
 SONG - MING DYNASTY
Estimate
50,00070,000
LOT SOLD. 56,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
801
A SILVER-INLAID BRONZE 'CHAMPION' VASE
 SONG - MING DYNASTY
Estimate
50,00070,000
LOT SOLD. 56,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

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New York

A SILVER-INLAID BRONZE 'CHAMPION' VASE
 SONG - MING DYNASTY
cast in the form of two tubular vases, each rising from a splayed foot to a waisted neck and galleried rim, flanking a falcon standing atop the head of a bear crouching with outstretched limbs, the bird extending its wings across the exterior of both vases, the reverse applied with a chilong-form loop handle above the bear's hindquarters with legs splayed and an upswept bifurcated tail protruding at the base, all inlaid with silver wire archaistic scrollwork, the bronze patinated to a dark reddish-brown with traces of malachite encrustation
Height 3 1/2  in., 8.9 cm
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Provenance

Collection of Theodore Culty.
Bluett & Sons, Ltd, London, 28th November 1960.
Collection of Lord Cunliffe, The Rt. Hon. Rolf, 2nd Baron Cunliffe of Headley (1899-1963), 30th November 1960, coll. no. B11.
Bonhams London, 12th May 2016, lot 13. 

Exhibited

A Catalogue of Early Chinese Bronzes, Jades, and Allied Decorative Works of Art from the Cunliffe Collection, Bluett & Sons, Ltd., London, 1973, pl. XXXI, cat. no. 21.

Catalogue Note

The present form is known as a ‘champion’ vase, a term likely coined in the Qing dynasty is derived from the combination of the Chinese names for eagle, ying, and for bear, xiong, which form the homophones for 'champion', ying xiong. The vase is inspired by archaic bronze prototypes produced from as early as the Western Han dynasty (206 BC- AD 9). 

A similar example of a Song to Ming dynasty gold and silver-inlaid champion vase is illustrated in Paul Moss and Gerard Hawthorn, The Second Bronze Age. Later Chinese Metalwork. Sydney Moss Ltd.London, 1991, cat. no. 3. Related examples with minimal surface decoration, include a vase from the collection of Ulrich Hausmann, also attributed to the Song to Ming dynasty, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 8th October 2014, lot 3328. 

The Rt. Hon. Rolf, 2nd Baron Cunliffe of Headley (1899-1963) was one of the most important collectors of Chinese art – ceramics of all periods as well as archaic bronzes, jades and snuff bottles. According to Roy Davids and Dominic Jellinek, Provenance, London, 2011, pp 132-3, Bluett & Sons prepared a valuation of his collection after his death, which comprised some 600 items spanning a wide centuries and varying media but all reflecting the keen eye of one of the most discerning connoisseurs of Chinese art.

Important Chinese Art

|
New York