A fine and rare pair of gold 'lions and flowers' boxes and covers Liao Dynasty (4)

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Lot 6
A fine and rare pair of gold 'lions and flowers' boxes and covers
Liao Dynasty

£ 40,000 - 60,000
US$ 49,000 - 73,000
A fine and rare pair of gold 'lions and flowers' boxes and covers
Liao Dynasty
Each of eight-lobed form, the covers decorated in repoussé with a square cartouche enclosing two lions leaping amidst floral scrolls surrounded by flower sprigs, the sides of the boxes and covers bordered with a continuous band of scrolling foliage. Each 5.8cm (2 1/4in) wide (4).

Footnotes

  • The Property of a Gentleman 紳士藏品

    遼 金錘揲雙獅花草紋蓋盒一對

    Provenance: P.C.Lu Works of Art Ltd., Hong Kong, 12 May 1988
    Jean-Yves Ollivier Collection

    來源:香港古董商魯氏有限公司,1988年5月12日
    歐宗易先生珍藏

    The delicacy of the shape and repoussé design characterising the present pair of boxes suggests that they may have been a product reserved for the highest ranking members of the Liao society, namely the Qidan elites. A related gilt-silver box, bearing the same shape and combination of playful lions and floral designs, was excavated from the tomb of Yelu Yuzhi, cousin of the Liao dynasty founder, Abaoji, in the Ar Horqin Banner, Inner Mongolia, illustrated in the National Museum of Chinese History, Qidan Elites: Treasures of the Liao Dynasty from Inner Mongolia, Beijing, 2002, pp.208-209.

    In shape and design, the present boxes appear to have been inspired by the superb craftmanship of the Tang dynasty. A lobed gilt-silver box decorated with lions and foliage, originally conceived as a birthday gift for Tang Emperor Yizong (r.859-873), was discovered in 1987 in the pagoda of the Famen Monastery in Shanxi Province. Literary evidence records the large quantities of silk and luxury items sent as tributes to the Liao Court by the Chinese kingdoms and the abduction of many Chinese artisans following the Liao sacking of Kaifeng, capital of the Later Jin dynasty, in Henan Province, during the 10th century.

    金質,菱花倭角,蓋微隆,其上以捶揲鏨刻二法飾雙獅相逐,雙獅身形矯健,動態逼真,圍以各式花草紋,繁而不亂,盒身光素無紋,整體盈巧可愛。

    此類形制和裝飾或許受到唐代工藝的影響。1987年陝西法門寺地宮出土一件唐懿宗(859年-873年在位)生日供奉的銀鎏金花口倭角盒,亦裝飾雙獅花草紋。文獻記載五代十國時期中原王朝曾進貢契丹王朝大量絲綢和奢侈製品,十世紀遼人劫掠後晉開封府亦帶走大量中原能工巧匠。或可解釋此件拍品明顯的漢地風格。

    此件拍品做工精細,形體秀雅,或為遼代契丹貴族所有。內蒙古阿魯科爾沁旗遼代開國皇帝耶律阿保機族兄耶律羽之墓出土一件鏨花雙獅紋鎏金銀盒,亦飾十分相似的雙獅相逐穿花紋,可作比較,見中國歷史博物館(現國家博物館)編,《契丹王朝-內蒙古遼代文物精華展》,北京,2002年,頁208-209。
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A fine and rare pair of gold 'lions and flowers' boxes and covers Liao Dynasty (4)
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