159
159
A PAINTED LACQUER 'DRAGON' INCENSE STAND
MARK AND PERIOD OF WANLI, DATED TO THE GENGXU YEAR (IN ACCORDANCE WITH 1610)
Estimation
600 000800 000
Lot. Vendu 1,180,000 HKD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
159
A PAINTED LACQUER 'DRAGON' INCENSE STAND
MARK AND PERIOD OF WANLI, DATED TO THE GENGXU YEAR (IN ACCORDANCE WITH 1610)
Estimation
600 000800 000
Lot. Vendu 1,180,000 HKD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Chinese Art through the Eye of Sakamoto Gorō

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Hong Kong

A PAINTED LACQUER 'DRAGON' INCENSE STAND
MARK AND PERIOD OF WANLI, DATED TO THE GENGXU YEAR (IN ACCORDANCE WITH 1610)
the square top raised on a 'cloud'-shaped flared apron extending to four slender cabriole legs resting on hooves and a square pedestal base with a cusped stretcher, freely painted overall in red, ochre and green enamels on the black lacquer ground, the slightly recessed top with an en face five-clawed dragon writhing around a 'flaming pearl' above jagged rocks and tumultuous waves, all against a diaper ground picked out with wan symbols, the sides detailed with meandering lotus repeated around the waist, the apron decorated with birds perched on a lattice ground and sprays of flowers further draping the legs, the base lacquered with two birds perched on a fruiting branch of peach tree issuing from a garden rock flanked by sprays of camellias and framed by scrolling peonies, all above scrolling clouds and further flower sprays encircling the stretcher, the underside of the apron dated to the Gengxu year (in accordance with 1610) with an incised eight-character horizontal reign mark in gilt
54 cm., 21 1/4  in.
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Provenance

Collection of the Maeda family, Kanazawa, Japan.

Description

The shape of this stand closely follows late Ming models carved from hardwood, such as a stand from the Qing court collection in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (I), Hong Kong, 2002, pl. 167, where the base, however, is not solid, but shaped as a square ‘ring’.

Polychrome painted lacquer became popular in the late Ming dynasty and is stylistically closely related to qiangjin-and-tianqi (gold-engraved and filled-in) lacquerware of the same period, of which many more examples seem to exist. In contrast to that decoration method, which is more onerous and has to follow a clearly outlined pattern, polychrome painting allowed more freedom to the brush, even though painting with lacquer is very different from painting with ink. That it was relatively rarely used may be due to the fact that in the late Ming period predictable precision was more highly appreciated at court than individuality.

Very similar bird-and-flower decoration can be found on the painted lacquer top of a box with basketry panels in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, included in the Museum’s exhibition East Asian Lacquer. The Florence and Herbert Irving Collection, New York, 1991, cat. no. 65. The design is also closely related to qiangjin-and-tianqi designs, for example, a box dated in accordance with AD 1610 with a dragon on top and closely related flower motifs around the sides, ibid., cat. no. 53.

Compare also an octagonal tray in the Anhui Provincial Museum, illustrated in Zhongguo qiqi quanji [Complete series on Chinese lacquer], Fuzhou, 1993-8, vol. 5, pl. 185; and a lower rectangular stand of painted lacquer from the collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated in Hai-wai yi-chen/Chinese Art in Overseas Collections: Lacquerware, Taipei, 1987, pl. 131; or a painted lacquer rectangular table sold in our London rooms, 30th October 1987, lot 153.

The qiangjin-and-tianqi technique was more often used for incense stands such as this. Compare a pair of circular stands sold in our New York rooms, 28th/29th September 1989, lot 398; and an example of similar form as the present stand, but of Kangxi mark and period, illustrated in Hu Desheng, The Palace Museum Collection. A Treasury of Ming & Qing Dynasty Palace Furniture, Beijing, 2007, vol. 2, fig. 759.

Chinese Art through the Eye of Sakamoto Gorō

|
Hong Kong