Qing Dynasty garden seat

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A Qing Dynasty, c.1880, pottery garden seat of an exceptionally pleasing glaze and colour.
In Chinese symbolism the ancient swastika motif represents the heart of Buddha, all happiness, the mind and infinity.

This decorative and useful stool would be equally at home in a garden, conservatory or living room.

SIZE: 19 inches tall
CONDITION: one small chip to a bottom angle (shown in photograph); one swastika motif has been broken and glued, glaze to the top slightly rubbed,
some chipping to foot of stool (can be seen in photograph).
PROVENANCE: With one family since c.1900.

Ming Dynasty Attendant Figure (1368-1644)

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A fine large ceremonial figure of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The head, as is usual, is detachable. Sancai (three colours) glazed figures in particular are distinguished by their dress, for each wears a unique robe and hat, and as Chinese statuette art prescribes, the faces are created with individual features. Glazed in a rich forest green, Ming statuette art reflects the attempt to restore purely “Chinese” artistic genres with a healthy injection of Confucian aesthetic, political, and moral standards. Realistic depictions of daily life became popular themes among artists who were often patronized by the court. Under Xuande’s reign (1426-35), the art industry flourished, producing many exquisite porcelain and ceramic pieces. This figure is a product of the artistic revival that occurred throughout the Ming. This Ming attendant depicts an aspect of Chinese political and social life. Tributary processions were common protocol at this time, the emperor requiring Provincial lords to pay tribute and tax on a regular basis. Processions were also held for funerals, marriages, and rituals differing in grandeur depending on the status of the individuals involved and nature of the ceremony, So it was appropriate for such figures to be placed in a tomb to wait upon the deceased in the Afterlife and to indicate his high status.
This is a beautiful and evocative item of great age.
SIZE: Height 18.5 inches, width of base 5 Inches.
PROVENANCE: Purchased from the specialist dealer 'Ancient World' in 1996, and in the same private collection from then. Discovered in Beijing and brought into this country in 1995, when China opened to the outside world,

Huge Chinese blue and white bowl.

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This is an absolutely spectacular ceramic; the skill needed to pot such a large bowl is great.
Over 2 foot in diameter, 9.5 inches deep and of considerable weight this is a commanding piece.
Beautifully hand painted with lotus and chrysanthemum scrolls; lotus conveys the notion of happiness in maturity, creative power, genius and marital happiness; the chrysanthemum represents autumn, joviality and a life of ease.
The bold decoration, with cresting waves and the lotus and chrysanthemum are in the 15th century style of the Ming Dynasty, although they were revived in the 18th century under the Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty.
This bowl, superb as it is, is neither of those. Dating only from the late 20th century it is a homage by a modern potter to the masters of the past.
As can easily be seen on this website we deal in fine antique items, not reproduction items....however, this bowl is so magnificent that an exception was made; although not old it is a fine art object. If it were what it appears to be it would be of immense value. We make no apology for its inclusion...it would enhance any room.
DIMENSIONS: 25 inches in diameter. 9.5 inches tall.

Ancient Chinese Han Dynasty Hu.

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A rare and fine Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) Greyware pottery Hu. Inspired by the late Chu bronzes, sweeping and massive, with a globular body. The very simple decoration is characteristic, fillets in relief and two jutting masks called Taotie. This is a motif found on earlier bronze vessels of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties, and possibly further back to Neolithic times. It consists of a frontal zoomorphic mask, with raised eyes and no lower jaw; its purpose was to keep evil spirits away. A Hu was used for storing food, indeed, they have been found in tombs still containing food to sustain the deceased in the Afterlife.
It is encrusted with earth from the tomb where it stood for over 2000 years.
SIZE: 18 inches tall. (46 cm) This is an unusually large vessel; a more common size is about 14 inches.
CONDITION: Excellent, apart from a hair crack running up from near the base to the shoulder of the jar. Probably caused when it was removed from the tomb.
PROVENANCE: Discovered in Beijing and brought into this country in 1995, when China opened to the outside world, by the specialist antiquities dealer 'Ancient World' of York,
Then in a Yorkshire collection for the next 24 years.


Ming Dynasty Terracotta Funerary Table from China, ...

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A rare Ming dynasty terracotta funerary table from 15th-16th century China. This table was made with terracotta during the Ming Dynasty and displays a variety of elements of food and drink. This small item is a typical Chinese altar, painted in green with tempera. Modelled and painted miniature food and drinks are arranged on it. Called Mingqi, these kinds of terracotta models were traditionally placed in the Chinese burials for the wealthy deceased, in order to assist the them in the afterlife, a practice that dates back to the Neolithic Period.
Mingqi: sometimes referred to as "spirit objects" are Chinese burial goods. They included daily utensils, musical instruments, weapons, armour, and intimate objects such as the deceased's cap and bamboo mat. Mingqi also could include figurines of soldiers, servants, musicians, polo riders, houses, and horses.
Mingqi served to provide the deceased with necessities and comforts in the afterlife. The deceased person's corporeal spirit was said to remain in the realm of the tomb while the ethereal spirit ascended to heaven. To appease the deceased's corporeal spirit mingqi that were relevant and liked by the deceased were placed in his tomb. Upon placing mingqi in the tomb, humans, according to the Confucian ideal, were harmonizing the cosmos by striking a balance for the comfort of the deceased who is also comforted in heaven.

Although this item is in the earlier Han Dynasty style (206 BC–220 AD), it is probably Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) . Chinese potters often used an earlier style as a mark of respect to their ancestors.

SIZE: height 7 inches. width 10 inches. depth 6.5 inches.
PROVENANCE: With certificate of authenticity from antiquities specialist Vanessa Purcell & Co. 28th April 1995.

Tang Dynasty Attendant Figure, 7th - 10th ...

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An ancient Chinese attendant figure from a Tang Dynasty tomb, 1000 to 1300 years old.
Originally the figure, still bearing much of its pigment, would have held a wooden stick to symbolise the lighted torch that would be used to guide the deceased through the Afterlife.
The Tang Dynasty was an Imperial dynasty of China, with its capital at Chang'an (present-day Xi'an), the most populous city at the time in the world, it is generally regarded as a high point in Chinese civilization—equal to, or surpassing that of, the earlier Han Dynasty—a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Its territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, was greater than that of the Han period.

SIZE: 11 inches tall.
PROVENANCE: Acquired from the York specialist dealer 'Ancient World', who brought items direct from China. Then an English private collection for the last 23 years.

Large Chinese Qianlong Dynasty (1736-95) blue and ...

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A large 18th century Chinese porcelain baluster shaped vase, the cover possibly associated, the neck decorated in underglaze cobalt blue with stiff plantain leaves above a key fret border and a band of ruyi heads, over two four clawed dragons writhing amongst chrysanthemums and lotus scrolls etc. with Ming style lappet base

The dragon in Chinese mythology is lord of the skies and benevolent bringer of rain. In addition, therefore, to symbolising authority, strength and goodness, as of the emperor, it is also symbolic of fecundity and fertilty.
The lotus conveys the notion of happiness in maturity, creative power and genius. In nature the lotus grows in muddy water but emerges clean from it, thus symbolising purity in adversity.

SIZE: 61 cm tall (25 inches).
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Cheltenham.
CONDITION: Although suffering from some chips and old poor quality repairs, this vase is of an impressive size and has considerable beauty and presence, the damages not being obtrusive.