A rare cloisonné enamel stupa 18th century
Lot 72
A rare cloisonné enamel stupa
18th century
£25,000 - 40,000
US$ 40,000 - 64,000

Lot Details
A rare cloisonné enamel stupa
18th century
The Buddhist monument decorated with a single opening in the form of a bodhi leaf and covered by a door enamelled with a formal lotus, the body with a leafy scroll issuing blossoming lotus and buds beneath a band of grinning horned monster-heads around the shoulder, all resting on a square stepped base enamelled with lappets, the long tapering neck with bands of gilt bronze containing lotus blossoms each flanked by two leaves rising to the flaring rim decorated with floral scrolls. 38.8cm (17¼in) high

Footnotes

  • 十八世紀 掐絲琺瑯纏枝蓮紋佛塔

    Stupas were originally memorial monuments built over the mortal remains of important Buddhist figures, including by tradition the Sakyamuni Buddha himself. They represent the past and the present, and are a symbol of Nirvana; in addition they encourage the meditative progress of the acolyte as he circumambulates the shrine clockwise. Architectural features were designed to encourage this development, for example the spire often consisted of thirteen layers to symbolise the thirteen stages of enlightenment.

    The Qianlong reign saw increased levels of contact between the Imperial court and the Buddhist centres in the far-flung corners of the empire such as Tibet and Mongolia, as the Manchu court reached the greatest geographical extent of its political, military and economic influence. The Qianlong Emperor himself took a personal interest in the religion, and his reign therefore saw the creation of many Buddhist-influenced artefacts. See for example a related cloisonné enamel stupa, dated to the 18th century, in the Pierre Uldry Collection illustrated by H.Brinker and A.Lutz, Chinese Cloisonné: The Pierre Uldry Collection, London, 1989, pl.279. It is also interesting to note the very large stupa, apparently of cloisonné, which is the central feature in an engraving from Mond Illustré, ca.1861-70, depicting the Exposition at the Tuileries in February 1861 of Chinese objects from the army's expedition in China and the Summer Palace, reproduced by B.Quette, Cloisonné: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, New York, 2011, p.196.
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