DALLAS, TX.- A Large and Extremely Rare Chinese Imperial Cloisonné and Gilt Bronze Censer and Cover, Qing Dynasty, 18th century (est. $200,000-400,000) is expected to be the top lot in Heritage Auctions’ Asian Art Auction Sept. 12 in New York. 

Large cloisonné and bronze censers often are associated with the vast temples and chambers of Beijing’s Forbidden City, at times used for burning various forms of incense or as heat-generating braziers. This example comes from the collection of Henry C. Gibson (1830-91), a Philadelphia-area banker and financier, as well as a director and vice president of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. It is believed this piece was acquired in Europe in the second half of the 19th century and is offered in its unrestored condition, complete with its fitted interior copper charcoal tray. The only known cloisonné censer of comparable size and form currently is displayed at the Musée Chinois de l’Impératrice in the Château de Fontainebleau outside Paris, France. 

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Lot 78153. A Large and Extremely Rare Chinese Imperial Cloisonné and Gilt Bronze Censer and Cover, Qing Dynasty, 18th Century; 37 inches high x 30 inches wide (94.0 x 76.2 cm). Estimate: $200,000 - $400,000Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

This large cloisonné enamel censer from Gibson's extensive collection of imperial Chinese works of art is believed to have been acquired in Europe in the second half of the 19th century. A censer of very similar form was among several imperial Chinese artifacts shown in the Illustrated London News, April 13, 1861, from a collection then housed at the Palace of the Tuileries and presently displayed at the Chateau de Fontainebleau's Musée Chinois.

Large cloisonné and bronze censers of various forms are associated with the vast temples and chambers of Beijing's Forbidden City. Alternately used as heat-generating braziers, such censers used for imperial use are closely associated with enameling techniques mastered at the Imperial Workshop in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. It is offered here in unrestored and complete form with its fitted interior copper charcoal tray.

Provenance: From the Collection of Henry C. Gibson (1830-1891)

Henry C. Gibson (1830-1891) was an important Philadelphia-area banker, financier and landowner whose Walnut Street mansion and later Main Line estate, Maybrook, housed a large and important collection of fine art and artifacts acquired throughout the world. Gibson was both a Director and Vice President of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the institution to which his collection of European paintings and sculpture were donated after his passing. 

An Album of 10 Landscape Paintings by Zhang Zongcang (1686-1756), Qing Dynasty, 18th century (est. $50,000-70,000), which once was in the possession of a foreign diplomat to China in the 1970s, features artwork by this important imperial court painter to the Qianlong Emperor who is known for his landscapes done in the “dry brush” style. 

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Lot 78370. Zhang Zongcang (Chinese, 1686-1756), Album of Ten Landscape Paintings, Qing Dynasty, 18th century; 9-1/2 x 11-3/4 inches (24.1 x 29.8 cm) (image, each)Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000Sold for: $31,250.00Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Provenance: Formerly the Collection of an International Diplomat
Property of a Florida Lady 

A Fine and Very Rare Chinese Imperial Hunting Knife with Enameled Gold and Silver Sheath Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period, 18th century (est. $50,000-70,000) features a knife that was part of the imperial costume of the Qing court. A symbol of the Qing rulers’ Manchurian ancestry, it represented their ruggedness and self-reliance. Among those from the Qinglong period, this knife is arguably the most formal in style and construction, thanks in part to the rare tapering gold and enameled silver sheath. 

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Lot 7858. A Fine and Very Rare Chinese Imperial Hunting Knife with Enameled Gold and Silver Sheath, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period, circa 1735-1796. Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000Sold for: $100,000. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Marks: Inset gold wire four-character Qianlong mark and of the period; 10-3/4 inches long (27.3 cm) (knife); 10 inches long (24.5 cm) (sheath); 12-1/4 inches long (31.1 cm) (knife in sheath).

The hunting knife having lapis lazuli and pure white jade-mounted hilt, bolster fitted with collar inset with turquoise, coral, and lapis cabochons, gilded blade having spine inset with gold wire Qianlong Nianzhi mark, sheath decorated with various cabochon mounts to upper collar, body with stippled ground interspersed with green enamel flourishes, silver midsection decorated in blue enamel and repoussé foliate and floral pattern, terminating with lotus bud. 

Provenance: Reputedly purchased from Andre DuBord Continental Antiques, Clearwater, Florida, 1950s;
Thence by descent.
Property of a Pennsylvania Gentleman

Ref: Christie's Hong Kong, Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 30 November 2011, Lot 3223.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 8 April 2010, Lot 1812. 

A Large Chinese Carved Yellow Jade Bowl with Cloud and Mountain Flower Relief Decoration to Exterior, late Qing Dynasty (est. $40,000-60,000) stands out in part because yellow is among the rarer colors of nephrite mined in China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Few bowls of this size – the bowl is nearly four inches high and has a diameter of nearly 10 inches – are known to exist, as yellow jade deposits rarely yield samples large enough for carvings of this size.  

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Lot 78140. A Large Chinese Carved Yellow Jade Bowl with Cloud and Mountain Flower Relief Decoration to Exterior, late Qing Dynasty. Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

3-7/8 inches high x 9-3/4 inches diameter (9.8 x 24.8 cm). The bowl having carved cloud and flower designs in slight relief on the exterior, raised on circular footed base; with fitted wood stand.

Provenance: Boyd Collection, Illinois.

With accompanying GIA Report 2135869279 indicating Natural Color; Nephrite Jade, 990 Grams.

A Very Fine and Rare Partial Set of Six Imperial Chinese Embroidered Silk Hundred Crane Scrolls, Qing Dynasty, 18th century (est. $20,000-40,000) is a rare compilation from a set that originally included nine scrolls. Decorated in the “100 Cranes” motif, these scrolls display the style of embroidery that was an important pastime among women of the Qing court. These scrolls represent months of work in the imperial textile workshop and likely adorned a wall in the chambers of a high-ranking woman within the walls of the Forbidden City. 

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Lot 78174. A Very Fine and Rare Partial Set of Six Imperial Chinese Embroidered Silk Hundred Crane Scrolls, Qing Dynasty, 18th century; 98-1/2 inches long (250.2 cm) (each). Estimate: $20,000 - $40,000Sold for: $212,500. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Provenance: From the Collection of Henry C. Gibson (1830-1891)

Ref: Sotheby's Hong Kong, Imperial Interiors, 7 October 2015, Lot 3004.

Other top lots are expected to include: 

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Lot 78407. A Very Large Tibetan Mahakala Thangka Depicting Various Bodhisattvas, Lamas and Deities, 18th-19th century; 62 inches high x 43-1/4 inches wide (157.5 x 109.9 cm) (sight). Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000Sold for: $93,750.00Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Framed dimensions are 82-3/4 x 56 inches wide. 

ProvenanceProperty of a New York Gentleman.

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Lot 78157. A Three-Piece Imperial Chinese Silver Filigree and Enamel Altar Set: Two Vases and a Censer, Qing Dynasty. Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Marks: Incised Qianlong 15th year mark and of the period, accompanied by presentation inscription Guanyu Zhicun Baowan (An Imperial Piece to Cherish as a Priceless Treasure); Vases marked Qianlong Yuzhi (Made to the Order of Qianlong); 6-3/4 inches high (17.1 cm) (censer); 6-1/8 inches high (15.6 cm) (vases, each). The suite comprising two vases, each with figural dragon and ring handles, bodies decorated with enameled floral ground interspersed with rounded cartouches depicting phoenixes and dragons, covered tripod censer with bird finial to lid, conforming enamel decoration to lid and dragon handles, raised on four figural feet. 

Provenance: Braun Collection, Michigan

RefEnamel Ware in the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1999, No. 164.

A Chinese Tobi Seiji Decorated Longquan Celadon Jar, Yuan Dynasty, 14th century

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Lot 78213. A Chinese Tobi Seiji Decorated Longquan Celadon Jar, Yuan Dynasty, 14th century; 3-3/8 inches high x 4-3/4 inches diameter (8.6 x 12.1 cm). Estimate: $10,000 - $20,000Sold for: $492,500.00. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

The jar with molded three-toe dragon to the lid with floral decoration to the rim, continuous scrolling floral and foliage to the body, with splashes of iron-brown to the body and lid. 

Provenance: From a Private German Collection.

A Fine Chinese Emerald Green Glass Snuff Bottle with Chilong Motif, Attributed to Imperial Glassworks, Qing Dynasty, 18th century

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Lot 78001. A Fine Chinese Emerald Green Glass Snuff Bottle with Chilong Motif, Attributed to Imperial Glassworks, Qing Dynasty, 18th century; 2-1/2 inches high (6.4 cm). Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000SOLD FOR: $6,250.00. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

The bottle with flanking, openwork chilong climbing up either side of the flattened bottle, pink glass stopper. 

Provenance: Property of a Chicago Collector.