The Fine Chinese Art sale, to be held at New Bond St, London on Thursday 11 May, will include many rare Chinese ceramics and works of art from European and Asian private collections. Following on The Jongen-Schleiper Collection of Fine Thangkas, this sale offers a diverse selection of Buddhist bronze figures from the Ming to the Qing dynasty, highlighted by the rare and large gilt-bronze figure of Dharmapala Begtse Chen, 18th century, estimated at £150,000 – 200,000, Lot 109.
An exceptionally rare cloisonné enamel cup stand, incised and blue-enamelled Xuande mark and of the period (1425-1435), estimated at £20,000 – 30,000, Lot 128, is one of only four known of this type with this Imperial mark, with similar examples in the British Museum and private collections. It would have been specially commissioned most probably for the use of the Emperor.
A very rare and large turquoise glazed fish bowl, Yongzheng seal mark and of the period (1723-1735), estimated at £30,000 – 50,000, Lot 147, is possibly the one of this glaze to have survived, with other related examples known in different glazes and extant in the Qing Court Collection in the Palace Museum, Beijing.
An English private collection comprising a diverse collection of ceramics, bronzes and cloisonné enamel, Lots 160 – 181, includes two rare Imperial Ming dynasty porcelain vessels: a massive blue and white 'lotus jar, guan, Jiajing mark and of the period (1522-1566), estimated at £50,000 – 80,000, measuring 50.8cm high, Lot 162; and a very rare wucai 'dragon' vase, gu, Wanli mark and of the period, estimated at £30,000 – 50,000, Lot 167.
Made for a scholar's desk, a rare early blue and white brush pot, bitong, Kangxi (1662-1722), estimated at £60,000 – 80,000, Lot 194, is vividly painted with a narrative depicting the female generals of the Yang Family, a story imbued with loyalist feelings to the previous Ming dynasty.
A superbly enamelled Imperial famille rose twelve-leaf screen, Jiaqing (1796-1820), estimated at £100,000 – 150,000, Lot 214, would have graced one of the Imperial halls, offering the beholder auspicious wishes associated with the Daoist Immortals colourfully enamelled on each leaf. It is likely it would have been commissioned for a special Imperial celebration such as an Imperial birthday.
Amongst one of the most charming jade carvings is a rare pale green and russet jade carving of a bear, Song dynasty or earlier, estimated at £10,000 – 15,000, Lot 226. The carving is one of a number of jade carvings offered from collection of the painter John Christopherson.
A large and fine selection of snuff bottles, many bearing extensive provenance, is offered from an Asian private collection, Lots 276 – 293, including a rare white jade 'double-melon' snuff bottle, 18th/19th century, estimated at £5,000 – 8,000, Lot 276.
A very impressive selection of rhinoceros horn libation cups, Lots 294 – 310, is offered from a number of distinguished European private collection.
A testament to the superb craftsmanship achieved during the 18th century, is a very rare lacquer and bamboo two-part centre-table, Yongzheng/ Qianlong (1723-1795), estimated at £100,000 – 150,000, Lot 324. The exceptional table is shaped as two shaped leaves, which when joined form a yinyang. Related lacquered furniture can be found in the Qing Court Collection in the Palace Museum, Beijing.
A French private collection of huanghuali furniture, Lots 327 – 330, includes a rare huanghuali 'Southern Official 'S Hat' Yokeback armchair, nanguanmaoyi, 17th/18th century, estimated at £100,000 – 120,000, Lot 328.
Asaph Hyman, International Head, Chinese Art, commented: "We are privileged to bring to light such a large number of fine and rare ceramics and works of art exemplifying China's Imperial past, having been admired and carefully preserved by previous generations."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Today, the auction house offers more sales than any of its rivals. The main salerooms are in London, New York and Hong Kong. Sales are also held in the UK in Knightsbridge and Edinburgh; in the US, in San Francisco and Los Angeles; in Europe, in Paris and Stuttgart and in Sydney, Australia. Bonhams also 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 forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com