A rare bronze figural stand, Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220)

Lot 367. A rare bronze figural stand, Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220); 6½ in. (16.5 cm.) high. Estimate USD 15,000 - USD 18,000. Price realised USD 18,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2008  

Cast as a kneeling foreigner holding a conical receptacle, with two similar receptacles flanking the shoulders, wearing a necklace and a loin cloth tied with a sash with fringed ends, his face cast with a slight smile and almond-shaped eyes below brows with hair markings, his hair dressed in coiled S-curls below the collared aperture in the top of the head, stand and box

ProvenanceAcquired before the 1930s.
Christie's, New York, 20 September 2005, lot 157.

Note: For a bronze figure with somewhat similar eyes, also shown in a kneeling position and holding a spear, from the Anthony and Susan Hardy Collections and the Sze Yuan Tang, see Li Xueqin, The Glorious Traditions of Chinese Bronzes, Singapore, 2000, no. 99. The figure is dated to the Han dynasty, and like the present figure, the hair is dressed in coiled S-curls. He is identified as depicting a Central Asian or hu (barbarian). As there is a cylindrical socket projecting from the top of the head, and a hole in the bottom of the left knee for attachment to a stand, it is assumed by the author that the figure was meant as some kind of support, which is true of the present figure. Compare, also, the bronze figure riding on a chimera, also dated to the Han dynasty, included in the exhibition, Arts of Ancient China, J.J. Lally & Co., New York, 31 May - 23 June 1990, no. 9. 

Christie's. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 17 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza