A t the end of 2020, Sotheby’s Hong Kong Chinese Art sale brings together a wide range of ritual bronzes, ceramics, carved jades and a diverse range of Chinese artworks ranging centuries. The works presented in the sale are from the collection of Cheng Huan, a well-known barrister and writer, and other Hong Kong collections as well as leading art dealers in New York, London and Tokyo. Among the highlights are magnificent ritual archaic bronzes from the Shang and Zhou dynasties. The auction will also feature a fine selection of Song ceramics, and an extensive group of Qing white jade carvings.
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Archaic Bronzes 高古青銅
Bronze ritual objects bear the mystery of their origin. Through a perfect harmony of form, decoration, and inscriptions, the Chinese bronze vessel with its engraved animal motifs represents the earliest narrative that predates the written word, and the height of technological and artistic expression in an ancient period of history.
The bronze vessels are an interaction between art and ritual, reflecting the spiritual aspirations from the early beginnings of the Shang and Zhou dynasties to secure harmony and order. Central in the ritual practices that protected the earthly realm, the bronze ritual objects served as a tangible symbol of political legitimacy and the divine authority bestowed upon ancient rulers. From the tripod jue and flared gu, which both held wine during the ceremonies, to the all-important ding, each vessel shape had specific functions and fascinating history.
Included in the highlights of this sale is an intricately cast bronze bell from the Warring States period, as well as a large bronze drum which was presented as a gift to the Honorable Parker T. Hart while he was serving in the U.S. foreign service.
The timeless, aesthetic sophistication and outstanding craftsmanship of the ceramics from China’s Song dynasty (960-1279) do not require an adept of Chinese art to be understood; they appeal to any connoisseur of classic beauty. Song ceramics were, and still are, treated with the utmost reverence and regarded as the foremost expression of ceramic art in the world. The beauty lies in the understated elegance of the forms and monochrome glazes – tones can in turns evoke the pale luster of melting snow, and the ethereal green of a spring stream, to vivid sky blues and somber smoky black.
Ming Dynasty Longquan Celadon Warming Bowl
Double-walled warming bowls were made to hold medicine and food and produced by joining together two bowls of slightly different sizes. The outer bowl commonly had a circular hole at the foot to allow hot water to fill the cavities between the two bowls and keep the vessel and its contents warm.
Estimate : 20,000-30,000 HKD
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This selection of carved white jades from a Hong Kong collection showcases the artistic skill of Qing dynasty jade craftsmanship. Highlights of the sale include four jades of the finest quality.
The artworks from the collection of Cheng Huan in this auction include a diverse range of carefully selected material, ranging from extremely rare miniature turquoise animals from the Warring States period, acquired from the dealer Susan Chen, to an auspicious Qing dynasty famille-rose ‘peach and bat’ cup.
Highlights also include a finely cast parcel-gilt copper alloy incense burner by Hu Wen Ming, intricately decorated with the Eight Buddhist Emblems. Hu Wenming from Songjiang, Jiangsu province, was one of the most accomplished master metalworkers of the late Ming period, who specialized in the production of gilt metal vessels for the scholar's desk.
其他焦點包括胡文明製局部鎏金銅簋式香爐 ，飾佛教八吉祥紋飾，造工精巧。 胡文明，居雲間（今江蘇松江），晚明製銅名匠，以其鎏金文房器皿見長。