HK1162-hero-v3
CHINA / 5000 YEARS
博古五千
Live Auction: 30 November 2021 • 10:10 AM HKT • Hong Kong | 拍賣: 2021年11月30日 • 上午 10:10 HKT • 香港

CHINA / 5000 YEARS 30 November 2021 • 10:10 AM HKT • Hong Kong

T he ‘CHINA / 5000 YEARS’ auction on 30th November showcases a diverse range of Chinese works of art including imperial porcelain, jade, lacquer and furniture. The sale features several private collections, including early ceramics and jades from the collection of Quincy Chuang, the second installment of early ceramic pillows from the Dream Quest collection, and huanghuali furniture from old Hong Kong family collection. Other highlights include a pair of Daoguang seal mark and period coral-ground famille-rose 'peony' bowls, a Qianlong blue and white yuhuchunping vase, and a Qianlong period cinnabar lacquer ‘dragon’ box and cover.


今季中國藝術品拍賣將於11月30日假香港蘇富比藝術空間舉行。拍賣欣呈各種中國藝術精品,包括御製瓷器、玉器、漆器及家具。尚有多組私人雅蓄,包括莊貴侖珍藏早期瓷器及玉器、尋夢堂中國瓷枕第二部分及香港家族舊藏黃花梨家具。其他精選拍品包括道光珊瑚紅地粉彩開光牡丹紋盌一對、清乾隆青花歲寒三友玉壺春瓶及剔紅龍紋蓋盒等。


Featured Highlights 精選拍品

Tang Silver: A New Wealth 銀光顯貴

The diversity of the Chinese works of art in the Tang dynasty embodies the cosmopolitanism of the period, and there no better reflection of this than in the development of precious metalworking. The use of silver was highly unusual in vessels or functional objects before the 5th century – only rarely hammered in fragments as inlay on bronzes during the Shang and Zhou dynasties. Significant advances were made when metalwork techniques were introduced into China in the 5th and 6th centuries from Central and Western Asia, as well as the Mediterranean through well-established mercantile contact and cultural exchange. As a result, China developed a taste for silver, synthesizing the abundant foreign styles and techniques, evolving to a high level of refinement and ultimately reaching its peak in the Tang dynasty. This sense of luxury is reflected in the creation of not only silver vessels, but also jewellery and personal objects of adornment. The following lots showcase the finest examples of silver metalwork of the period. Many of the silver vessels would become the progenitors of later imperial ware, with designs or shapes reinterpreted then transformed in the ceramics of the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties.

唐代藝術材質、風格多樣,精彩紛呈,盡展大唐薈萃多國文化之獨有魅力,其中又以珍貴金屬器最能表現此特點。五世紀前,銀器及以銀作飾之工藝器皿均非常鮮見,僅見於商周時期,青銅器身偶爾鑲嵌零碎銀料。時至五及六世紀,中國與中亞、西亞以及地中海通商頻繁,文化交流亦多,金屬加工技術隨之傳入中土。因此,唐代喜愛銀器,並綜合外邦風格與技巧,所成銀器精緻華美,成就非凡,無論器皿、工藝或配飾均顯貴重奢華,其中多款啓發後來各朝宮廷御器,宋、明、清各朝珍瓷紋飾及器型都可見其影響。以下拍品,均屬唐代精美作例:

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Sancai: Exuberance in Colour三彩榮華

The Tang imperial court and the aristocracy enjoyed luxury and were not afraid to display it. The period is unparalleled in the baroque opulence of its works of art, which runs through all media. The first half of the Tang was the high time of earthenware pottery, a highly versatile medium, which was never exploited in more ingenious, varied and attractive ways than in this period, when the inventiveness of the potters aimed at taking the medium to its limits. Pottery became richer in colour, mainly through the use of a white slip over the dull beige clay, which not only brightened up the basic green and brown glaze tones, but also – covered with a transparent glaze – added a near-white glaze colour to the repertoire. That the resulting colour scheme is known as sancai (‘three colours’) obscures the fact that it covers a fairly wide range of tones, from near-white over yellow and amber to brown and from a pale pastel-green to a deep leaf green. Sancai proved such a successful colour scheme that it became a staple for Chinese ceramics and remained popular long after many additional glaze colours had become available.

唐朝宮廷及貴族均崇尚華貴,各類器物工藝繁縟富麗,反映盛世氣象。陶瓷用途廣泛,盛於唐初至中期,藝匠盡傾巧思,發揮材質特長,淋漓盡致。唐代陶例於素胎上施加化妝土,不僅使綠釉及黃釉更顯晶瑩亮澤,更可在罩透明釉後而得近白之色,使三彩色系更為豐富,色釉互相浸潤,濃淡斑駁,尤顯變幻之美。三彩陶器乃中國陶瓷重要品類,即使後世創新色釉品種不斷,卻仍可獨占一席,流傳千載而魅力不衰。

A sancai 'phoenix' ewer, Tang dynasty 唐 三彩鳳首執壺

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Animal Spirits 萬物有靈

Animals in Chinese art have long been a way of conveying philosophical and sometimes political meaning in a sophisticated visual language of cultural associations and wordplay.

在中國藝術文化中,許多動物的形象及其名詞的諧音都具有形而上的象徵意義,或令人聯想到統治階層的權力。

  • Mythical Beast 瑞獸
  • Eagle and Bear 鷹、熊
  • Butterfly 蝴蝶
  • Phoenix 鳳凰
  • Qilin 麒麟
  • Dragon 龍
  • Lion 獅
  • Mythical Beast 瑞獸
    Mythical animals had spiritual meanings bound to individual motifs, and they were assigned specific places within in the universe in accord with Chinese cosmology.

    瑞獸寓意吉祥,多形似動物,同時具有虛構的特徵,形象威武、令人畏怖,其出現會帶來福兆,或鎮邪驅妖。傳說中的瑞獸形象按年代和地域略有不同,但大同小異。中國古代四大瑞獸:青龍、朱雀、白虎、玄武分別坐鎮東南西北四個方位。


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  • Eagle and Bear 鷹、熊
    The ying eagle and the xiong bear together form the rebus yingxiong, meaning heroic nobility. This is a symbol for courage, and would have made an appropriate gift for one in the military.

    鷹、熊二字加起來與「英雄」諧音,象徵勇猛無畏,贈予軍人更是別具涵義。

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  • Butterfly 蝴蝶
    The butterfly is considered an auspicious insect associated with blessings and happiness. Its transformation and the possibility of metamorphosis also makes it a symbol of longevity. In a well-known dream, the Taoist philosopher Zhuang Zi became a butterfly and fluttered about without a care, a parable often interpreted as the expression of a happy existence and contentment.

    蝴蝶破蛹羽化,在世間自由飛舞,生命雖短暫而圓滿,一如人生於世,只望安然自得。莊生曉夢迷蝴蝶,豈知人間之樂與蝶舞翩然之樂無異乎?

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  • Phoenix 鳳凰
    The phoenix is revered as a harbinger of peace and prosperity, as well as a symbol of the empress of China. Esteemed for its feminine beauty, the phoenix appeared in Chinese artefacts throughout history and, as suggested by the Chinese saying ‘the dragon soars and the phoenix dances’, was often paired with the dragon, a symbol of the emperor.

    在中國古代傳說中的「百鳥之王」,原本雄為鳳、雌為凰,後為皇權象徵,龍為帝,鳳為后,故「鳳凰」形象漸趨陰柔秀麗,據《詩經·爾雅·釋鳥》,鳳凰身披彩羽,其特徵是「雞頭、燕頷、蛇頸、龜背、魚尾」。古代人相信,鳳凰來遊,代表國運亨泰,政通人和。

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  • Qilin 麒麟
    This fantastical creature reflects the Chinese sculptural tradition of mythical 'chimera' or 'qilin' and combines the head of a dragon, the horns of a ram, a scaled body of a deer and the hooves of a horse. Also known as the Kirin, the qilin is an auspicious beast with the body of a steed, and the horns and other features of a dragon. Its appearance announces the arrival of a sage or enlightened ruler, and in Taoism, the qilin also punishes the wicked.

    傳說中的麒麟長著龍頭鹿角、身如鹿、蹄如馬,性情溫馴和善,每有賢君或聖人降生,麒麟才會現身。民間亦有麒麟送子的殷切祈願,故俗諺謂「天上麒麟子,地上狀元郎」。

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  • Dragon 龍
    The dragon has been the spiritual identity and symbol of Chinese culture. It is an emperor reigning over all beings, and an emblem of peace and harmony, as well as imperial power. It is said that the first legendary Han emperor, Huang Di, immortalised into a dragon and ascended into heaven. One of the four divine animals, the dragon is ranked first among mythical beasts, associated with the power of bringing rain and abundance.

    龍騰四海,威嚴無遠弗屆,一如古代帝皇自喻為龍,深信皇權在握,天下莫敢弗從。相傳中國遠古時代華夏民族五帝之首「黃帝」晚年大業功成後,乘龍昇天。龍可呼風喚雨,使天地變色,是中國古代神獸之首。

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  • Lion 獅
    Lions are not native to China. Although live animals were brought to the Chinese court by foreign embassies, they were always exotic rarities. In India, the lion is intimately associated with Buddhism, considered a symbol of strength and protector of the Dharma, the Buddhist law, and with the growing popularity of the Buddhist religion during the Tang dynasty, pairs of lions were increasingly placed in front of Buddhist temple gates as guardian animals.

    獅子並非中國原生動物,自明初外邦遣使攜珍來華,少數國人始知其真貌。在印度佛教中,獅子象徵勇武無懼,是佛法守護者。唐代佛教大興,佛寺門前常見石獅一對,守土鎮邪。

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A Quest for Dream枕間尋夢

Invented in the Tang dynasty, ceramic pillows had became popular and treasured items for elite families by the Song dynasty. The hardness of the ceramic might seem uncomfortable to sleep on, but the cool touch of the material to the back of the neck would have been quite soothing on hot nights. The headrest may also bring some additional health benefits according to late-Ming scholar, Gao Lian, who wrote that the material and the iconography of the headrest serves a critical role in mediating between the conscious and unconscious, as dreams were believed to have significant meaning.

The Dream Quest Collection was assembled since 1990. Beginning with an interest in Cizhou ceramic pillows, the collector gradually expanded his collection to other provincial kilns. A comprehensive collection of over 100 ceramic pillows, spanning from the Tang to the Qing dynasties, of was amassed. The headrests could come in various shapes, techniques, glazes and decoration – typically rectangular or bean-shaped with a gently concave surface. Some examples come in the form of reclining figures. The pillow’s function associates it as an object of the bedroom, so the decoration would often have links to familial, domestic or even erotic themes.

瓷枕始見於李唐,及至宋代流行於富貴人家。瓷質冷硬,看似不宜作枕,然而後頸的冰涼觸感能在半夜消退暑熱。此外,瓷枕或對身心大有裨益。古人重視夢中所見,晚明文人高濂就曾提及各種枕制及枕飾如何有助調和現實與夢境。

尋夢堂主人因磁州窰瓷枕引發收藏雅興,並於1990年建立尋夢堂,逐漸將藏品範圍擴展至其他窰場出品。尋夢堂庋藏之瓷枕共逾百枚,跨越唐代至清代。瓷枕外形不一,製作工藝、釉色及圖案千般百樣,最常見者為長形或豆形枕,中間微凹。也有瓷枕巧飾人物臥像。枕乃寢臥之器,故其紋飾多與日常起居生活有關,部分更繪製春宮圖。

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