20 août 2019

Song Dynasty Masterpieces of Early Chinese Gold and Silver from Dr. Johan Carl Kempe at Christie's NY

2019_NYR_18338_0570_000(a_fine_and_very_rare_gold_dish_song_dynasty)

2019_NYR_18338_0570_001(a_fine_and_very_rare_gold_dish_song_dynasty)

Lot 570. A fine and very rare gold dish, Song dynasty (960-1279); 5 ¼ in. (13.5 cm.) diam.; weight 103 gEstimate USD 300,000 - USD 500,000© Christie's Image Ltd 2019.

The circular dish is chased in the center with a dense, elegant design of two leafy, S-shaped stems, each bearing a large blossom, and the flat, everted rim is chased with a band of 'cash' pattern below the rolled edge.

ProvenanceDr. Johan Carl Kempe (1884-1967) Collection, Sweden, before 1953, no. 52.
Sotheby's London, Masterpieces of Chinese Precious Metalwork. Early Gold and Silver, 14 May 2008, lot 106.

LiteratureBo Gyllensvärd, Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1953, cat. no. 52.
R. Soame Jenyns and William Watson, Chinese Art. The Minor Arts, London, 1963, pl. 15.
Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, The Museum of Art and Far Eastern Antiquities in Ulricehamn, Ulricehamn, 1999, pl. 49.

ExhibitedWashington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution, Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, 1954-55, cat. no. 52.

NoteGold and silver vessels were most likely made for use at the Imperial court during the Song dynasty, and extant examples are rare, especially gold examples. A gold dish similarly chased in the center with two leafy stems, each bearing a lotus-like flower below a band of 'cash' diaper pattern on the flat rim, in the collection of the Hon. Senator Hugh Scott, is illustrated by Dr. Paul Singer, Early Chinese Gold & Silver, China Institute in America, New York, 1971-1972, p. 64, no. 90. Also illustrated, p. 65, no. 92, is a silver dish chased with a large flowering peony stem that fills the interior below a band of 'cash' diaper on the rim, which is also from the collection of the Hon. Senator Hugh Scott. Both of these dishes are illustrated in Chinesisches Gold und Silber: Die Sammlung Pierre Uldry, Zurich, 1994, the gold dish, p. 230, pl. 272, the silver dish, pl. 273. 

Gold and silver dishes of this type appear to have served as inspiration for dishes made at the Ding kilns during the 11th and 12th centuries. (Fig. 1) Such dishes would have been used as service sets in a sumptuous banquet context, probably at the imperial court. Ding dishes decorated in the interior with fluently carved floral motifs are represented by the dishes illustrated by Tsai Meifen, Decorated Porcelains of Dingzhou: White Ding Wares from the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2014, p. 69, no. II-24 and pp. 72-73, no. II 27.28; and another example in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 32 - Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (I), Hong Kong, 1996, p. 76, pl. 67. See, also, the Ding dish carved in the interior with two large peony blossoms borne on leafy, undulating stems below a band of classic scroll on the rim, sold at Christie's New York, The Classic Age of Chinese Ceramics - The Linyushanren Collection, Part III, 22 March 2018, lot 504. Unlike the decoration on the interior of the Ding dishes, the decoration on the present gold dish forms a dense, medallion-like design that forms the center of the otherwise plain interior

2019_NYR_18338_0585_000(a_pair_of_silvery_metal_petal-lobed_dishes_song_dynasty)

Lot 585. pair of silvery metal petal-lobed dishes, Song dynasty (960-1279). Each 4 3/8 in, (11.1 cm.) diam.; weight 89.2 and 102 gEstimate USD 12,000 - USD 18,000© Christie's Image Ltd 2019.

The slightly flared sides of each dish are finely shaped as six petals rising from the flat base.

ProvenanceDr. Johan Carl Kempe (1884-1967) Collection, Sweden, before 1953, no. CK170.
Sotheby's London, Masterpieces of Chinese Precious Metalwork. Early Gold and Silver, 14 May 2008, lot 109.

LiteratureBo Gyllensvärd, Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1953, cat. no. 170.
Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection. The Museum of Art and Far Eastern Antiquities in Ulricehamn, Ulricehamn, 1999, pl. 163.

Exhibited: Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution, Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, 1954-55, cat. no. 170.

2019_NYR_18338_0592_000(an_unusual_parcel-gilt_silver_ear_spoon_song_dynasty)

Lot 592. An unusual parcel-gilt silver ear spoon, Song dynasty (960-1279); 8 3/8 in. (21.3 cm.) long; weight 12.3 gEstimate USD 2,000 - USD 4,000© Christie's Image Ltd 2019.

The long, slender handle is gracefully arched and decorated in relief on one side with prunus branches on a ring-punched ground, and terminates in a small double-gourd vase from which issues the slender, scoop-like bowl. The plain reverse of the double gourd is cast with the characters tian cheng zu wen, probably a maker's mark.

ProvenanceDr. Johan Carl Kempe (1884-1967) Collection, Sweden.
Sotheby's London, Masterpieces of Chinese Precious Metalwork. Early Gold and Silver, 14 May 2008, lot 97.

LiteratureChinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, The Museum of Art and Far Eastern Antiquities in Ulricehamn, Ulricehamn, 1999, pl. 134.

2019_NYR_18338_0594_000(a_large_reticulated_silver_comb_song_dynasty)

2019_NYR_18338_0594_001(a_large_reticulated_silver_comb_song_dynasty)

Lot 594. large reticulated silver comb, Song dynasty (960-1279); 5 1/8 in. (13 cm.) wide; weight 71.8 gEstimate USD 2,000 - USD 3,000© Christie's Image Ltd 2019.

The top of the comb is decorated in openwork with a repoussé design of two boys amidst elaborate leafy flower scroll, with traces of gilding.

ProvenanceDr. Johan Carl Kempe (1884-1967) Collection, Sweden, before 1953, no. CK143.
Sotheby's London, Masterpieces of Chinese Precious Metalwork. Early Gold and Silver, 14 May 2008, lot 93.

LiteratureBo Gyllensvärd, Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1953, cat. no. 143.
Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, The Museum of Art and Far Eastern Antiquities in Ulricehamn, Ulricehamn, 1999, pl. 143.

Exhibited: Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution, Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, 1954-55, cat. no. 143.
New York, Asia House Gallery, Chinese Gold, Silver and Porcelain. The Kempe Collection, 1971, cat. no. 66, an exhibition touring the United States and shown also at nine other museums.

Christie'sMasterpieces of Early Chinese Gold and Silver, New York, 12 September 2019


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