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12 juillet 2016

A pair of gilt-bronze 'Dragon' bowls, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period

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Lot 3214. A pair of gilt-bronze 'Dragon' bowls, Qing dynasty, Qianlong periodEstimate 250,000 — 350,000 HKD. Lot sold 860,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

of globular form, the deep rounded sides rising from a splayed foot to a raised rim, cast and gilt in high relief with two five-clawed dragons pacing above turbulent waves in reach of a 'flaming pearl', their scaly bodies writhing amidst stylized flames and clouds, a cragged cliff battered by the tempestuous sea on the reverse, all between a band of pendent ruyi at the foot and incised key-fret encircling the rim; each 18.7 cm., 7 3/8 in.

ProvenanceA private European collection.

ExhibitedLateranensi Museum, Rome, 1960s (on loan, by repute).

NotesGilt-bronze bowls of this form are rare, although at least one Qianlong marked example is known in gold, included in the National Palace Museum exhibition Emperor Ch'ien-lung's Grand Cultural Enterprise, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2002, cat. no. I-47. Compare also a similar decoration of dragons chasing a pearl above identical crested waves, on a gold bell dated to the Qianlong reign, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace MuseumTreasures of Imperial Court, vol. 57, Hong Kong, 2004, pl. 5, p.6.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, Hong Kong, 04 Apr 2012

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