Lot 110. A painted gray pottery figure of a mythical beast, Han dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). Width 16 1/4 in., 41.8 cm. Estimate 5,000 — 7,000 USD. Lot Sold 32,500 USD. Courtesy Sotheby's.
the beast modeled standing four square, with head lowered and muscular haunches bracing as if about to charge, the crown and neck with three imposing pointed horns, a row of four studs along the spine, continuing to a long tail curled back, the right hind leg with a large grooved spiral, with traces of white slip and red pigment all over.
Provenance: Collection of Stephen Junkunc, III (d. 1978).
Note: Compare a related figure included in the exhibition Art of the Han, The China Institute in America, New York, 1979, cat. no. 40, where Ezekiel Schloss discusses how the composition of different animal's elements was said to give special supernatural powers to the mythical creature. See similar examples illustrated by René-Yvon Lefbvre d'Argencé, The Hans Popper Collection of Oriental Art, Japan, 1973, cat. no. 40, and R.L. Hobson, The Eumorfopoulos Collection, vol. I, London, 1925, pl. XVII, 128. Compare one exhibited in Into the Afterlife: Han and Six Dynasties Chinese Tomb Sculpture from the Schloss Collection, Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, 1990, cat. no. 32, sold recently in these rooms, 15th September 2018, lot 1390 (part lot). For other examples sold in these rooms, refer to one sold 2nd November 1979, lot 144, and 12th June 1984, lot 124. Another related figure sold in our London rooms, 15th July 1980, lot 5.
Sotheby's. Junkunc: Arts of Ancient China, New York, 19 march 2019, 10:00 AM