A pair of gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel cockerels 19th century (2)

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Lot 56
A pair of gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel cockerels
19th century

HK$ 150,000 - 180,000
US$ 19,000 - 23,000
A pair of gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel cockerels
19th century
Each bird modelled with head turned towards each other and mounted on a circular base, standing alert with short gilt-bronze naturalistically detailed scaly feet and claws, the head crowned with a prominent red comb and with a pointed black beak, with striking yellow feathers all over the body, wings, and tail, amidst the coffee-coloured ground.
Each 23cm (9in) high (2).

Footnotes

  • 十九世紀 銅胎掐絲琺瑯公雞一對

    Figures of animals, including various birds, were made in cloisonné enamel during the 18th and 19th centuries. They resulted in a menagerie, made for the decoration of residences of the elite and for imperial palaces. As with most Chinese art, specific animals were chosen to be replicated in various media, including cloisonné enamel, for their auspicious meaning and symbolism.

    The cockerel or rooster is one of the twelve Chinese animals of the zodiac. It is also a symbol for attaining high official rank. Its comb is often regarded as a crown, 雞冠 jiguan, and is a pun for 'official', 官 guan. The cockerel is also associated with the five virtues due to its appearance and behaviour: civil culture for wearing a 'crown' likened to that of the headgear of one in civil service; martial qualities because its powerful spurs; courage for confronting its enemies; benevolence for protecting its hens; and trustworthiness due to the accuracy of its crowing at dawn.

    A pair of cloisonné enamel figures of cockerels, enamelled predominantly in red, Qianlong, is illustrated in Colorful, Elegant and Exquisite. A Special Exhibition of Imperial Enamel Ware from Mr. Robert Chang's Collection, Suzhou, Shanghai, 2007, pp.42-43.

    Cloisonné enamel cockerels were also frequently made as incense burners. See a cloisonné enamel cockerel incense burner, from the Museé des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, illustrated by B.Quette, Cloisonné. Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, New York, 2011, p.280, no.111.

    Compare a related but very large pair of bronze and cloisonné enamel roosters on stands, 19th century, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 3 June 2015, lot 3273.

    清中期十八到十九世紀時,掐絲琺瑯的工藝已到登峰造極的境界,所用題材亦非常廣泛,其中動物為常見題材之一。本拍品以公雞為主題,乃中國傳統吉祥圖案,雞冠的冠與官同音,寓意步步高升,連連升級。

    參考其他掐絲琺瑯雞的例子,包括張宗憲先生收藏一對清乾隆御製掐絲琺瑯公雞,見《絢麗.華麗.至尊 – 香港張宗憲先生珍藏御製宮廷掐絲琺瑯器特展》,蘇州,2007年,頁42-43;也見David David-Weill捐贈予巴黎裝飾藝術博物館的一件掐絲琺瑯公雞香爐,著錄於B.Quette,《Cloisonné. Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties》,紐約,2011年,頁280,編號111;香港佳士得曾售出一對十九世紀掐絲琺瑯公雞,但尺寸較大,2015年6月3日,編號3273。
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