Lot 107. A rare inscribed and dated six-panel lacquer screen, dated by inscription to the sixth year of the Wanli period, corresponding to 1579. Each panel 80 1/8 in. (203.6 cm.) high, 23 ¼ in. (59 cm.) wide. Estimate GBP 80,000 - GBP 120,000 (USD 104,320 - USD 156,480). Price realised GBP 100,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019
It is boldly decorated in tones of white, brownish-black, green and red lacquer with a carved design depicting a pair of spotted deer resting on a riverbank next to graphically rendered rocks in a landscape of pine, prunus and bamboo. The poetic inscription eulogises the scene of pine and deer, and the smaller script states that this was made during Spring in the third month of the sixth year of Wanli, following a drawing by Liu Tingfang and engraved by Chen Guangxian.
Provenance: Private Northern Italian Collection.
The beautiful composition of this unusual, early lacquer screen is laden with symbolism. Spotted deer are associated with Daoist beliefs of immortality and their presence beneath a pine tree reinforces the message of longevity. A comparable but slightly later inscribed six-panel lacquer screen with the same decorative palette and subject, dated to the 22nd year of Kangxi, corresponding to 1684, was sold at Sotheby's Paris, Pierre Bergé: From One Home To Another, on 30 October 2018, lot 12.