An extremely rare pair of gold hair pins Xuande incised marks and of the period, dated 1427
Lot 345
An extremely rare pair of gold hair pins Xuande incised marks and of the period, dated 1428
HK$ 1 million - 1.5 million
US$ 130,000 - 190,000

Lot Details
An extremely rare pair of gold hair pins Xuande incised marks and of the period, dated 1427 An extremely rare pair of gold hair pins Xuande incised marks and of the period, dated 1427
An extremely rare pair of gold hair pins
Xuande incised marks and of the period, dated 1428
Each beautifully and identically cast in gold, the lengthy shaft slowly converging to a pointed tip, each with finely incised kaishu dated inscription, all issuing from a mushroom cap in the form of a hexagonal-lobed petalled flower.
14.5cm long. (2).

Footnotes

  • The inscription reads and literally translates as:

    "To accompany and for Imperial use, made by the silversmith of the Imperial workshop, dated twelfth month, third year of Xuande period (1428), of ninety percent pure gold, weighing eight qian"

    The characters suijia was the term used to mark Imperial objects which travelled with the Imperial family, which in this case suggests it followed the Xuande Emperor between his palaces in Beijing and Nanjing.

    It is recorded in Ming Shi or 'History of Ming' by Qing dynasty historian Zhang Tingyu (29 October 1672 — 30 April 1755), that the silversmith or yinzuoju is one of eight palace workshops established during the thirtieth year of Hongwu reign (1398) under one of the twenty-four official ministries, primarily crafting gold and silver coins and ornaments. Each workshop was under the order of a eunuch with independent administrative staff including scribes, supervisors and workmen.

    For a similar example of a pair of gold hairpins excavated from archaeological sites, see Gems of Beijing Cultural Relics Series. Gold and Silver Wares, Beijing, 2004, p.74, nos.42-43. The mentioned example is each crafted with phoenix atop cloud scrolls with incised Yongle inscription stating the purity and weight of the gold. For other examples dated to the Xuande period, see see Gems of Beijing Cultural Relics Series. Gold and Silver Wares, Beijing, 2004, pp.77-78, nos. 46-50. The mentioned examples include a gold ladle dated to the sixth year of Xuande period (1430), and a gold zun dated to the ninth year of Xuande period (1433). Both examples have similar incised unbalanced scripts and are archaeological examples excavated from the burial tombs of Imperial concubines.

    For a Xuande period gold vessel sold at auction, see a tripod vessel and cover, formerly in the collections of George Eumorfopoulos and Dr. Carl Kempe, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 11 April 2008, lot 2325.

    明宣德三年鐫 銘文金簪一對

    一對簪鈕呈癸花式,簪身素面,柄上端各鐫刻相同內容的銘文:「隨駕銀作局宣德叁年拾贰月內造玖成色金捌錢」,造型簡約古雅。

    據明張廷玉等著《明史》記載,銀作局是明代宮中專門打造金銀器飾的宦官八局之一,設有掌印太監一員、管理、僉書、寫字、監工無定員,設於洪武三十年(1398年)。出土的銀作局製明代金簪可參考《北京文物精粹大系》編委會及北京市文物局編,《北京文物精粹大系.金銀器卷》,北京,2004,頁74,圖版42及43。該金簪出土於明憲宗寵妃萬貴妃之父萬貴墓中,上有鳳形腳踏祥雲紋飾,刻有銀作局永樂年之年款,也交代了金的成色及重量,與本金簪之銘文內容形式相同。其他出自宣德年間銀作局之金器,可參考同書,頁77,圖版46及47,以及頁78,圖版48-50,前者為銀作局宣德六年製之金勺,後者為銀作局宣德九年製之金尊,兩者皆有字體歪斜的銘文,出土自妃嬪墓中。

    傳世品中明宣德所製之金器,見英國尤氏(Eumorfopoulos)及Carl Kempe教授舊藏一例,後於香港蘇富比拍出,2008年4月11日,拍品2325。
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