Lot 119. A Tianhuang 'bixie' seal signed Zhou Bin, Qing dynasty, 17th–18th century; 3.8 by 1.9 by 1.9 cm, 1 1/2 by 3/4 by 3/4 in., 25.32 gr. Estimate HKD 300,000 — 500,000. Price realised HKD 600,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.
the golden-orange stone skilfully carved with a square-section base surmounted by a finial shaped as a bixie seated on its haunches with the head turned towards its left, the beast depicted with a long horn and taut muscles detailed with fine incisions, one side of the seal incised with two characters reading Zhou Bin.
Note: This seal bears the signature of Zhou Bin, one of the most renowned carvers of soapstone and was active during the 17th century. Zhou Bin, zi Shangjun, a native of Zhangzhou in Fujian province, belonged to a small group of carvers who excelled both technically and artistically and were considered master carvers in this medium.