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More than a Game / A RARE LARGE 'HUNDRED BOYS' KESI PANEL Jiajing/Wanli

LOT 30
A RARE LARGE 'HUNDRED BOYS' KESI PANEL
Jiajing/Wanli
29 mai 2022, 14 h 00 UTC+8
Hong Kong, Admiralty

Sold for HK$1,389,000 inc. premium

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A RARE LARGE 'HUNDRED BOYS' KESI PANEL

Jiajing/Wanli
Exquisitely woven in polychrome silk, gold-wrapped thread and peacock feather, depicting eighty-nine boys in small groups engaging in a variety of activities in a garden setting filled with rocks, trees, pavilion, bridge, pond, deer and crane, including playing qin, playing chess, performing music as an ensemble, cricket fighting, kite flying, rowing, fishing, drama playing, reading, wrestling, under a top section depicted with a bright sun overhead in the centre, and another boy riding a qilin and holding a sheng and a twig of osmanthus over clouds. 173cm (68 1/8in) x 154cm (60 5/8in).

Footnotes

明嘉靖/萬曆 緙絲百子圖掛帳

The 'hundred boys' refers to the story of King Wen, the father of the founder of the Zhou dynasty King Wu, representing the wish for many sons. In folklore, King Wen of Zhou had ninety-nine sons and adopted one more, which made one hundred. It remains unknown when this story emerged, however, the earliest visual art in this theme to be believed is a painting on silk mounted as a rounded fan, 12th-13th century, in the Cleveland Museum of Art, which is illustrated and discussed by X.F.Wang in The Wedding of Princess: One Hundred Children at Play and the Pictures of Child in Southern Song Dynasty , in Art Observation, November and December 2018, pp.108-114, 108-112. The games and arrangement of boys' groups on this panel demonstrate a consistency within this theme, when compared with examples during the Ming dynasty as can be seen in other media such as porcelain and lacquer.

Compare with a closely related kesi 'hundred boys' panel, Ming dynasty, in the Beijing Art Museum, illustrated in Gems of Beijing: Cultural Relics Series, Textiles, Beijing, 2001, pl.155. Compare also with a kesi panel, Ming dynasty, in the collection of Stephen McGuinness, exhibited and illustrated in Chinese Textile Masterpieces. Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasties, Plum Blossoms (Intl) Ltd, Hong Kong, 1988, no.13. See also a similar kesi 'hundred boys' panel, Ming dynasty, which was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 6 April 2015, lot 3117.

全幔以十八色絲線間以捻金及捻孔雀羽緙絲織就八十九子於花園中分群玩耍遊戲,由右上至下順時針為鼓琴聽琴、對弈觀局、持花捧盒、展卷賞畫、蹴鞠、絲竹合奏、狩獵、放鳶、鬥蟋蟀、奪帽、競渡、點蠟、垂釣、讀書、狀元遊街、藏貓、摔跤,畫面以山石樹木相區隔,園中花團錦簇,山石間有仙鶴、仙鹿,畫面頂部正中描繪一輪祥雲拱日,紅日左下方描繪麒麟送子。

此幅帳幔尺寸巨大,八十九子服飾、表情及動作皆不同。此題材為典型百子圖,所謂百子,並非一定滿百之數,而言其多也。民間傳說周文王生九十九子,加認養之雷震子,湊成百子之數,為古代對多子多孫之期望而已。此傳說來歷已不可考,而百子圖紋樣最早可見實物為美國克利夫蘭美術館藏一件十二至十三世紀所繪百子圖團扇,其畫面鋪排及百子所玩遊戲與明清流行之百子圖可謂一脈相承,相關討論見黃小峰撰,《公主的婚禮—〈百子圖〉與南宋嬰戲繪畫》,載於《美術觀察》,2018年11、12月,頁108-114及108-112。明代乃百子圖流行之高峰期,上至皇室,下至民間皆以之為裝飾,漆器、瓷器、織品各類材質之工藝多有所見。

北京藝術博物館藏一件緙絲百子圖與本件極似,孩童數目八十九,遊戲項目基本相同,惟童子服飾有些許出入,本件掛幔之童子有數人著八卦道服,故為嘉靖朝作品可能性較大,北京藝術館所藏百子圖舘方定為清初,而揚之水認為是明代作品,見揚之水撰,《從孩兒詩到百子圖》,北京,2014年,卷五,頁38。另可參考一件類似緙絲百子圖,著錄於《 Chinese Textile Masterpieces. Song, Yuan & Ming Dynasties》,香港,1988年,編號13。香港蘇富比曾售出一件晚明緙絲百子圖,畫面與本件剛好左右相反,可資參考,2015年4月6日,拍品編號3117。

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