Bonhams Hong Kong Shines the Spotlight on Exquisite Chinese Literati Objects

A Private North American Collection of Scholar's Objects
24 Nov 2012
Hong Kong, Admiralty

Bonhams Hong Kong Shines the Spotlight on Exquisite Chinese Literati Objects

A Private North American Collection of Scholar's Objects
24 Nov 2012
Hong Kong, Admiralty

Bonhams Hong Kong offers A Private North American Collection of Scholar's Objects featuring around 50 fine and scholarly Chinese works of arts for the use of both Imperial courts and literati elites. This magnificent collection encompasses Imperial inkcakes, jades and glassworks of detailed craftsmanship which perfectly highlights the Emperors' strong association with the academics.

Highlights include:

Lot 314
An extremely rare and exquisite 'bai furong' ink rest, by Zhou Bin
Kangxi, dated early summer of 1706
The stone of an attractive semi-translucent ivory white colour, exquisitely carved in a rectangular shape and worked on all sides in extraordinary detail, the upper surface intricately incised with an elaborate bafenshu inscription, the reverse with finely worked taotie, ruyi-head and C-scroll motifs, flanked at the sides with further archaistics scrolls, four-character inscription bingxu chuxia corresponding to the early summer of 1706, the reverse with a Zhou Bin zuogu signature of the carver and subject matter, all supported on an exquisitely carved zitan stand with four compressed globular feet at the ends, the central reticulated panel framing a bamboo shoot issuing offsprings of bamboo with leaves, the sides with alternating inverted ruyi-head scrolls.
6.7cm long (2).
Estimate: HK$3,000,000 - 5,000,000

Lot 308
A magnificent and extremely rare mother-of-pearl, soapstone and hardstone inlaid zitan brush palatte
Jiajing, attributed to Zhou Zhu
Of rounded rectangular form standing on four angled feet at the corners, the main panel secured on a hinge on one side allowing ninety degrees of upright movement, featuring a Mongol warrior battling against a Buddhist lion, the brave figure striking a stance with right knee raised and arm stretched, wearing overflowing robes with long sleeves and chestpiece armour with sword sheathed at the waist, the distinctive muscular facial features with prominent moustache and beard framed by ringed ears, framed beneath a traditional headwear extending two long flowing tassels; the ferocious mythical beast with curled mane and trifurcated tail leaping forth and landing on frontal paws with its head turned left, all admist a scene of rockwork and wispy clouds, masterfully inlaid with mother-of-pearl, soapstone, jade, pearl, various hardstones and semi-precious stones.
10.5cm high.
Estimate: HK$500,000 - 800,000

Lot 307
An extremely rare Imperial double-sided inscribed Khotan jade 'Ańgaja' screen
The superbly worked stone of rectangular form, intricately decorated on one side with the Ańgaja luohan seated cross-legged on rockwork, adorned in loose flowing robes, his long eyebrows and compassionate expression framed by his balding head with wrinkled and contorted facial structure, his left hand holding a sutra and a gnarled walking stick, the right counting prayer beads, all beneath an inscribed Imperial eulogy, five incised seal marks and name of the Buddhist disciple inscribed in phonetically translated 'unified rhymes', the reverse with another luohan seated on rockwork under a palm tree and wearing a kasaya, his right hand posed in a mudra and left holding a tiny Buddha seated on double-lotus amidst wispy smoke, accompanied by a ram depicted biting on a stem of ruyi, all beneath a finely incised kaishu inscription within a bordered panel with further four incised seal marks, the details all intricately gilt on the spinach-green stone, original boxwood stand.
21.7cm high. (2).
Estimate: HK$1,000,000 - 2,000,000

Lot 315
A superb and exceptionally large bamboo figure of Vijraputra and Buddhist lion cub
Mid Ming dynasty
The outstanding figure carved from a large section of bamboo trunk, the luohan of wide stature seated atop a finely carved basket-weaved cushion, his right leg crossed and left leg pendant, the right hand stretched backwards in support and the left hand holding a ball of yarn, the body adorned in loose flowing robes draping downwards in undulating folds, swung over his left shoulders revealing bare chest and exposed right arm, his face set in an expression of deep contemplation, framed by a large round bald head flanked by a pair of pendulous earlobes suspending earrings, a little Buddhist lion depicted playing mischievously on his lap, its head turned right bearing fierce expression and thick bushy eyes with opened jaws revealing sharp teeth, the protruding spine issuing a furry mane ending in a curly trifurcated tail.
19cm high.
Estimate: HK$5,000,000 - 8,000,000

Lot 329
An Imperial inscribed 'she' inkstone with hongmu box and cover
The smooth dark stone concaved on one end and convex on the other, the central circular cartouche with raised sides surmounted by a series of carved kaishu inscriptions ending in a two-character zhuanshu seal mark, all enclosed within a similarly shaped hongmu box and cover, plainly decorated with slightly raised enclosure and corner feet.
17cm long. (3).
HK$150,000 - 250,000

Lot 323
An Imperial lobed bamboo root tray
Early Qing dynasty
Elegantly carved of quatrelobed form using the intersection between internodes of the plant, the shallow sides rising from a continuous shallow foot around the edge at the base and flaring upwards towards the barbed rim, the interior worked and base revealing the natural grains of the wood.
11.2cm wide.
HK$80,000 - 120,000

Lot 309
A rare jade-inset zitan 'wan' box and cover
Qianlong, the white jade 'dragon' plaque Wanli
The exterior of the body exquisitely carved with a fine and elaborate wan ground, the cover resting on a low-sided enclosure outlined in stylised keyfret edges, all above four curved short feet at the axis, the cover with a centralised enclosure with a fitted white jade plaque boldly worked with a dragon chasing a flaming pearl above crashing waves on rockworks and amongst cloud wisps, the fearsome visage with opened jaws framed between a pair of horns and an incised 'S'-shaped body, its four limbs terminating in powerful four-clawed talons.
23cm wide. (2).
HK$800,000 - 1,200,000

Lot 302
An Imperial ruby-red glass 'spindle' vase
Qianlong wheel-cut four-character mark and of the period
The heavily constructed body of slender curved form, tapering elegantly from the narrow foot to the swollen central body, rising to a long flared neck, the translucent colour of a deep ruby red, the countersunk base wheel-cut with a four-character mark within a double square.
17.8cm high.
HK$150,000 - 250,000

Lot 348
A gilt-bronze seated figure of Guanyin
Finely cast in the form of the compassionate deity depicted seated with one leg pendant and the other bent atop an incised lotus pedestal, her right hand holding a vase and the left resting on the left knee holding a pearl, her serene facial expression framed in an expression of deep contemplation, framed by a circlet surmounted by a miniature Buddha, her overflowing hair draped over the shoulders, her chest bare and adorned with trinkets and an undulating scarf, the lower body covered by a loose garment incised at the hem and tied at the waist.
18.1cm high.
Estimate: HK$300,000 - 500,000

Lot 316
A large and rare bronze figure of Bodhidharma
Wanli / Jiajing
The powerfully cast figure depicted standing with his head turned slightly to the right, his serene face with deep eye sockets showing a piercing gaze below the pronounced eyebrows, the beard and areas around the reverse of the head intricately granulated to represent his hair, his right hand raised holding a shoe, his left hand depicted grasping his windswept robe draped in folds decorated with floral hems reaching his bare feet, the original zitan stand naturalistically carved as wavy water with a single reed.
29.4cm high. (2).
Estimate: HK$500,000 - 800,000

For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, go to

For more information please contact
Mabel Au-Yeung
+852 9038 8939


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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