A very rare gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel 'treasures' incense burner Yuan/early Ming Dynasty (3)

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Lot 102
A very rare gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel 'treasures' incense burner
Yuan/early Ming Dynasty

Sold for HK$ 725,000 (US$ 92,387) inc. premium
A very rare gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel 'treasures' incense burner
Yuan/early Ming Dynasty
Of cylindrical form with gently tapering sides, raised on three ruyi-shaped feet, the exterior colourfully enamelled with two tiers of lotus blossoms, each enclosing one of the 'Various Treasures', zabao, borne on undulating leafy stems in vivid tones of white, yellow, red and green on a light turquoise ground, wood box and stand. 9.5cm (3 3/4in) diam. (3).

Footnotes

  • 元末明初 銅胎掐絲琺瑯纏枝蓮雜寶紋三足爐

    The present incense burner is very rare for the double depiction of the zabao, 'Various Treasures', shown on each of the two tiers of the lotus scrolls in the centre of each blossom. Also known as the 'Precious Objects', they often appear on porcelain from the Yuan dynasty, indicating an early date for this incense burner; see for example the famous 'David Vases', a pair of blue and white temple vases, dated by inscription to AD 1351, painted within the lotus lappets with the zabao, illustrated in Splendors in Smalt: Art of the Yuan Blue-and-White Porcelain, Shanghai, 2012, pl.1 (one of the pair illustrated).

    The powerful design of the lotus scroll, the petals boldly enamelled in red, yellow, white and green, issuing thickly-bodied multi-coloured tendrils, is typical of cloisonné enamel wares dated to the early Ming dynasty; however, there is an ongoing debate as to whether some of these may be datable to the Yuan dynasty. Compare a similar design on a cloisonné enamel circular box and cover, first half 15th century, and see also the tendrils on a cloisonné enamel barbed-rim dish, first half 15th century, illustrated by H.Brinker and A.Lutz, Chinese Cloisonné: The Pierre Uldry Collection, London, 1989, pls.7 and 11.

    Compare a related cloisonné enamel alms bowl, early 15th century, which was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 29 May 2007, lot 1435.

    爐奩式,直壁漸斂,下承如意形三足。外壁以淺藍色琺瑯釉為地,飾上、下兩層纏枝蓮紋,間以弦紋,蓮花花蕊中隱約含雜寶紋。

    細觀此爐上之蓮花,每朵蓮花花蕊均各不相同,似托雙角、銀錠、雙錢等雜寶。雜寶紋始於元代,如現藏於大維德中國藝術基金會的一對元代至正十一年青花雲龍紋象耳瓶,其近足處繪雜寶紋,見上海博物館,《幽藍神采:元代青花瓷特集》,上海,2012年,圖版1(一對之一)。

    此式三足構圖及釉彩更靠近明代早期風格,但學術界就此類紋飾是否能上溯至元代仍有爭議。同式勾蓮紋僅見瑞士蘇黎世雷特博爾格博物館藏一件圓形蓋盒,曾屬Pierre Uldry舊藏,年代定為十五世紀上半葉,見H.Brinker 及A.Lutz著,《Chinese Cloisonné: The Pierre Uldry Collection》,倫敦,1989年,圖版7及11,其琺瑯釉色及蓮花形制均與本三足爐類似。

    香港佳士得曾售出一例十五世紀早期銅胎掐絲琺瑯盌,2007年5月29日,拍品1435。
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A very rare gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel 'treasures' incense burner Yuan/early Ming Dynasty (3)
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