A cinnabar lacquer 'book' box and cover, fitted with duan inkstone Kangxi, inscribed by Wang Jingming
Lot 537
A cinnabar lacquer 'book' box and cover, fitted with duan inkstone Kangxi, inscribed by Wang Jingming
HK$ 2.5 million - 3 million
US$ 320,000 - 390,000
Lot Details
Property from an important private collection (lots 531-538)
A cinnabar lacquer 'book' box and cover, fitted with duan inkstone
Kangxi, inscribed by Wang Jingming
Of rectangular cross section realistically modelled in the form of a brocade stitched book case, the inkstone of jet black tone, one corner with a sunken square enclosure, the strokes forming the character 'jing' or well, the side with an engraved square cartouche finely carved with three-character zhuanshu mark; the box and cover overall carved through three layers of red, brown and beige coloured lacquer in octagonal-shaped diaper ground, framed by exquisitely incised with bats in flight around the edges, the title panel enclosed on the upper left corner of the cover inlaid with mother-of-pearl, fastened with a simulated white jade lock and bamboo veneered belt, the rest lacquered black.
16.1cm wide.

Footnotes

  • Provenance 來源:
    Private Japanese collection
    Sothebys London, 20 June 2001, lot 202

    Exhibited 展覽:
    University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, 14 October - 17 December 2006

    Illustrated 出版:
    Art & Imitation in China, University Museum and Art Gallery, The Univeristy of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2006, pp.264-265, no.152.

    The current lot belonged to the Kangxi Emperor's favourite Imperial scholar Wang Jingming, who was also the Emperor's most acclaimed student and the Exemplar of the State. The original lacquer box and cover is complete with its inkstone, which is carved with the Dan Si mark.

    Wang Jingming (1667-1721), alias Dan Si or Dan Shi, sobriquet Wei Xian, was a native of Jiangnan province (present Shanghai). On the forty-sixth year of the Kangxi period (1707), the Kangxi Emperor summoned Wang during his visit south, where he presented poetry and paintings to the Emperor. Wang was later chosen to further cultivate his talent and was admitted into the Imperial palace to help compile the Wuyingdian Shu or 'The Collectaneum from the Hall of Military Glory', and was most fortunate to be taught personally by the Kangxi Emperor. On the fifty-second year of Kangxi period (1713), the Kangxi Emperor declared Wang 'the best' or 'number one', and was subsequently made the Exemplar of the State. He was rewarded with a piece of land and advanced his studies in the Hanlin Academy, where he assisted the editorial of the Wanshou Shengdian, the 'Grand Occasion of the Imperial Birthday', and learned calligraphy and painting under Wang Yuanqi. This period of training heavily influenced his style and developed brushstrokes similar to his teacher, hence he was known as one of the four great students of Wang Yuanqi. The Kangxi Emperor developed a close relationship with Wang, evident during Wang's parents' seventy-fourth birthday celebration on the fifty-eighth year of Kangxi period, when the Emperor gifted his parents an Imperial painting titled Zhainiantang.

    Wang was not only proficient at calligraphy and painting, but was also a connoisseur of inkstones. Wealthy merchants were known to have offered large sums of gold in exchange for his paintings but were always rejected. When offered rare and precious inkstones instead, Wang's determination would sometimes falter over his undying passion. The existence of Wang's painting is rare even within museum collections around the world, with only one example titled Wang Jingming Shanshui or 'landscapes by Wang Jingming' dated to the Qing dynasty, currently preserved in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Gugong Shuhua Lu. Scroll Eight, Volume 4, p.101 (fig.1). The landscape painting is also admired by the Qianlong Emperor, who embellished it with an Imperial poem from volume one of the first edition of Shiqu Baoji or 'Treasured Cases of Art in the Palaces' originally housed in the Yangxindian, 'The Hall of Mental Cultivation', and also with the calligraphy of a single character shen or 'divinity'.

    Lacquer wares of the Kangxi period are often plain, gilded, engraved or inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The complexity of carved lacquer in different layers exhibited by the current lot is rarely seen. The 'Dan Si' mark on the inkstone dates to the Kangxi period which further suggests that the lacquer box and cover may possibly have been created by the Imperial workshops of the Kangxi period, or alternatively fashioned for the inkstone during the Qianlong period. Hence the dating of the current lot is between late Kangxi period and early Qianlong period.

    For similar examples, see the collection from the Palace Museum, Beijing, The daily lives of the Qing Emperor, Hong Kong, 1994, p. 53, (fig.2). See also a similar lacquer box from the National Palace Museum collection in Taipei, illustrated in Carving the Subtle Radiance of Colors: Treasured Lacquerware in the National Palace Museum , Taipei, 2008, p. 145, pl. 150, fig. 3; and another preserved in the Tianjin Museum, illustrated in Zhongguo qiqi quanji , Fuzhou, 1993, p.186, pl. 221, fig. 4. Unlike the present lot where the various components remain intact, the original ink stones of the aforementioned lacquer boxes are missing. For examples of this rare type sold at auction, see Sotheby's Hong Kong, 23 October 2005, lot 390 and Christie's Hong Kong, 23 October 2003, lot 784.

    清康熙 御製剔彩雕漆仿書式錦紋盒 內附康熙朝狀元「丹思」款古硯台

    硯盒為木胎,倣書冊式造形,巧妙有趣,圖案精美,以多色剔彩方式製成,與一般所常見之單色雕漆器相比,本硯盒是耗工耗時之繁複漆雕品種,難度甚高,稀珍罕見。硯為長方形,硯池為井字狀,硯側雕「丹思」款,硯面有眉紋,似朵朵白雲飄浮在上面,石色蒼黑,石質堅潤細密,雖光素無雕工,卻自有一種雍容大度之美感。

    此帶丹思款並帶原裝雕漆盒,硯中逸品,是愛硯如癖的康熙狀元王敬銘珍貴自用硯,而且來源有緒,最早為日本收藏家所收藏,後在2001年6月20日交由倫敦蘇富比拍賣,拍品編號202。後於2006年10月14至12月17日在香港大學美術館展出,見Catherine Maudsley編,《馳騁古今:中國藝術的仿摹與創新》,香港,2006,頁264,編號152。

    王敬銘(1667-1721),字丹思,一字丹史,號味閒,江南嘉定人(今屬上海)。康熙四十六年(1707年),南巡時受召見,並呈進詩畫給康熙帝,而後被選入宮纂修武英殿書,而得以陪侍帝側幸運的受康熙帝親自授教。康熙五十二年(1713年),被康熙帝欽選為此年的「第一甲、第一名」,也就是俗稱的「狀元」,並同時賞賜宅地一處,依例授翰林院修撰,參與《萬壽盛典》纂修工作,並拜王原祁為其師學習書畫,而導致其畫意風格即受其影響,為王原祁四大弟子之一。康熙五十八年(1719年)時值王敬銘父母年皆七十有四,康熙帝特御書「齊年堂」匾額賜之,種種可見王敬銘是康熙帝的重臣。

    王敬銘除精於書畫外,且有收集硯台之習,並愛硯如癖,在當時常有巨商富賈想以重金求其畫,但均不得獲,而以佳石、名硯投其所好索其畫,則無不立即應允,時人謂其為硯痴,但百思不得其解的是王敬銘傳世畫作卻極為少見,連兩大故宮博物館所藏王敬銘畫作也不多見,其中一幅名為《清,王敬銘山水》畫軸被收藏於台北故宮博物院,此畫細緻清晰,著色沈靜蘊藉,畫中景物予人氣脈通透之感,上有清高宗乾隆皇帝題跋"神"字,並著錄於石渠寶笈初編(養心殿)上冊,頁673,見台北國立故宫博物院編,《故宫書畫錄(卷八)》,第四冊,頁101(fig.1)。

    在清朝年間雕漆器是皇家御用器皿,民間是禁止使用的,除少數用以賞賜外國使節與皇親貴族外,大部份是被保留在深宮禁院。在康熙年間所製造的漆器大多是以描金、戧金、素漆或螺鈿為主,如本拍品般的剔彩雕漆器,十分罕見,因本拍品有康熙朝狀元"丹思"款的關連佐証下,當有可能為康熙晚期造辦處所造,另外也有可能此硯在清乾隆時期被供入內廷,且受到乾隆帝珍愛重視,故下旨特別訂作如此細緻剔彩倣書式盒用以盛裝此名硯,也均有可能,故此御製剔彩倣書式盒正確年限有可能在康熙晚期到乾隆早期。

    其他書式形雕漆硯盒例子,可參考北京故宮博物院藏剔彩書式盒(見嚴瑞源編,《清代皇帝一天的生活》,香港,1994,頁53)(fig.2),台北國立故宮博物院藏剔紅書式盒(見林曼麗,《和光剔采-故宮藏漆,台北,2008,頁145,圖版150)(fig.3),天津博物館藏剔紅錦紋書式盒(見中國漆器全集編輯委員會編,《中國漆器全集》,福州,1993,頁186,圖版221)(fig.4),所有例子之雕工如本硯盒如出一轍,其中只有北京故宮博物院之例子為剔彩漆器,而且三者盒內之硯台已佚失,如本硯盒而保全情況良好,又保留了當中之硯台,實屬難得。其他雕漆硯盒例子可見香港蘇富比,2005年10月23日,拍品編號390及香港佳士得,2003年10月23日,拍品編號784。
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first HKD800,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from HKD800,001 to HKD1,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over HKD1,000,000 of the Hammer Price.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.