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A Massive Chinese Black, Gilt And Red Lacquered Twelve-Panel Screen. The Black Lacquer Panels Qianlong With Date Inscription For 1784 And Later Mounted Within A Red And Gilt Lacquer Frame. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2013

Depicting various courtly pursuits including an Emperor with dancers, ladies at their toilette and scholars gatherings all within relief-carved scarlet and gilt panels of stylized fretwork and auspicious symbols, the reverse carved with a lengthy inscription; 133 in. (333 cm.) high, 22 in. (56 cm.) wide, each panel. Estimate $12,000 – $18,000

Provenance: Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 23 March 1995, lot 302.

Notes: The inscription indicates that this is a 'birthday screen' presented to a man named Hu, on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. The text of the inscription was composed in 1783 by a fellow civil official, Xiao Zhongguang, who, in describing his own background, mentions that he himself has passed both the juren (provincial) and the jinshi (capital) examinations. 

Christie's. THE CONNOISSEUR'S EYE. 7 June 2013. New York, Rockefeller Plaza