Lot 1261. A rare bronze figural stand, Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220); 6¾ in. (17.2 cm.) long. Estimate USD 60,000 - USD 80,000. Price realised USD 98,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2011.
Cast as a foreigner with arms outstretched holding a conical receptacle in his right hand, wearing a loin cloth and seated atop a chimera standing in an aggresive pose with its mouth open in a fierce roar above its long, trailing beard, its curved horns curled back behind the ears and the tufts of hair that sprout from the cheeks, the details of its short wings finely incised and its bony tail curled around its rear left leg, the smooth surface with some milky green malachite encrustation.
Provenance: Acquired in Hong Kong in 1991.
The Tsui Museum of Art.
Exhibited: Art Treasures from Shanghai and Hong Kong, 9 November 1996 - 25 January 1997, p. 79, no. 10.
Note: A very similar bronze group of a foreigner riding a chimera excavated in 1964 in Hefei, Anhui province, and now in the Anhui Provincial Museum, is illustrated in Zhongguo Wenwu Jinghua Dachuan, Hong Kong, 1994, p. 343, no. 1233. Like the present figure, the Anhui figure holds a tubular support in his outstretched right hand, and a pan in his left hand, indicating it was likely made to serve as an oil lamp. Another very similar bronze figural group dated to the Han dynasty was included in the exhibition, Arts of Ancient China, J.J. Lally & Co., New York, 31 May - 23 June 1990, no. 9. See, also, the bronze kneeling figure from the Sze Yuan Tang Collection sold in these rooms, 16 September 2010, lot 877, which, like the present figure and the other aforementioned figures, is depicted naked, except for a loincloth, and has similar facial features, ears and hair dressed in S-curls.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Part I and Part II Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, New York, 24 March 2011