T he Chinese Art sale on May 12th presents a selection of works of art spanning the breath of China’s long and fascinating history of art and craftsmanship. Among the earliest pieces and highlights of the sale are two large and exquisitely modelled sancai-glazed pottery figures of a camel and a horse from a European private collection. A celadon ground famille-rose decorated bottle vase of the late Qianlong period from an English private collection represents later porcelain art under the Qianlong emperor.
An important and comprehensive library of Chinese art catalogues and reference books collected over a thirty-five year period will also be offered for sale.
Under the Tang dynasty, the Chinese empire expanded far to the north, west and south. Foreign craftsmen, clerics, political envoys, merchants and goods entered China and introduced new ideas and fashions that left their most visible marks on the arts of that period.
The two magnificent large figures of a Bactrian camel and a Ferghana horse offered in this sale illustrate the influence that some of the most exotic and majestic animals had on Tang artisans.
Naturalistically modelled to a large scale, their shapes enhanced with lustrous three-coloured glazes, these two sculptures aptly show the impact the real beasts left when they first arrived in China.
Bactrian camels and the fabled horses of Ferghana originally came from remote regions in present-day Central Asia. Fabled for their prowess and spirit, they quickly found their way into the repertory of the artisans who made the very best and naturalistically rendered examples to accompany high-ranking officials and nobility into the afterlife.