A rare double gourd jade inlaid Da Ji plaque, wood stand, 18th century
Lot 391
A rare Imperial double-gourd gilt-bronze zitan and hardwood 'Da Ji' plaque 18th century
Sold for £97,250 (US$ 163,630) inc. premium
Auction Details
A rare double gourd jade inlaid Da Ji plaque, wood stand, 18th century A rare double gourd jade inlaid Da Ji plaque, wood stand, 18th century A rare double gourd jade inlaid Da Ji plaque, wood stand, 18th century A rare double gourd jade inlaid Da Ji plaque, wood stand, 18th century A rare double gourd jade inlaid Da Ji plaque, wood stand, 18th century
Lot Details
A rare Imperial double-gourd gilt-bronze zitan and hardwood 'Da Ji' plaque
18th century
Shaped as a double gourd with a high border enclosing the recessed plaque, decorated on one side with two applied gilt medallions carved with the characters Da and Ji surrounded by cloud scrolls in a key-fret border and separated by a soapstone bi disc attached to a twisted carved gilt rope across the neck of the double gourd, the upper medallion surrounded by applied soapstone carvings of the Eight Daoist symbols and the lower medallion by the Eight Buddhist Emblems, bajixiang, the other side of the plaque similarly applied with a soapstone bi disc dividing the two halves containing a single scene of a prunus tree of wood issuing applied quartz blossoms growing in a rocky soapstone landscape, the gilt rope knotted and suspending a fish inlaid with patches of turquoise enamel on each side, the plaque surmounted by a separate gilt bronze repoussé cap elaborately formed on each side with five turquoise enamel bats surrounding a stylised shou character and above two Buddhist wan symbols all against cloud scrolls, the wood stand carved with archaistic scrolls below lappets beneath the waisted neck and supporting a pedestal with gilt floral scrolls shaped to fit the plaque.
Overall 56cm (22in) high (3).

Footnotes

  • 十八世紀 紫檀嵌鎏金及壽山石暗八仙紋「大吉」葫蘆插屏

    Provenance: Luis Valera y Delavat (1870-1926), Marquis de Villasinda, Spanish diplomat in Beijing, circa 1900, and thence by descent. According to the family, the plaque was acquired at that time and originated in the Forbidden City.

    來源:Luis Valera y Delavat (1870-1926)藏品,並由其家族繼承下去。Luis Valera y Delavat來自Marquis de Villasinda,是約1900年西班牙駐北京的外交官。根據其家族,此拍品於當時獲得,並來自紫禁城。

    Luis Valera y Delavat (1870-1926) Marquis de Villasinda, diplomat and writer, was sent in July 1900 by the government of Spain to China as Secretary, with special powers to defend Spanish interests after the Boxer rebellion. Before travelling to China he served in the Spanish embassies in Brussels and Vienna, and later was minister plenipotentiary in Tangier (1911-1913). In 1916 he was appointed as ambassador to Russia, where he lived through the revolution and fall of the Tsars. Further diplomatic appointments included Lisbon and finally the Holy See. Expert and great art collector, the Marquis de Villasinda wrote several books, the most important of these being Shadow Plays, in which he chronicles the perilous journey from Hong Kong to Beijing, a few days prior to the end of the siege of the Diplomatic Legations in Beijing and the immediate aftermath.

    The present Da Ji plaque is an outstanding example of the sumptuous taste of the Imperial Court at its height of prosperity and as a result, the apex of Qing Dynasty artistic craftsmanship. The plaque is charged with layers of symbolism and auspicious wishes, from the five bats adorning the gilt-bronze crest, standing for the five wishes (old age, wealth, health, love of virtue, and a peaceful death). The wish for longevity is further reinforced by the double-gourd form as well as the Shou character; these wishes are multiplied by a thousand by the wan emblems; the Eight Buddhist Emblems, the bajixiang, and the eight attributes of the Eight Immortals surround the characters Da Ji, meaning Great Fortune. The rare double-catfish gilt-bronze handles stand for the blessing: may you have plenty year after year ('niannian youyu'). It is therefore probable that this highly auspicious plaque was made in celebration of an Imperial birthday.

    A very similar pair of catfish gilt-bronze and enamelled handles can be seen on a cloisonné enamel jar and cover in the Qing Court Collection, mid Qing Dynasty, illustrated by Zheng Xinmiao, ed., Compendium of Collection in the Palace Museum: Enamels 3 - Cloisonné in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Beijing, 2011, pl.278.
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