Pair of Chinese porcelain jars, Qing Dynasty. ...

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A fine pair of blue and white porcelain jars and covers, Qing Dynasty, reign of Emperor Guangxu, with six character mark of Guangxu to the base and of the period. Tall ovoid form covered in a peony decoration with domed covers with finials. The Kangxi era porcelain revival was still in full swing at this time and these jars are typical of this beautiful style.

Excellent condition apart from damage to one of the covers.

Emperor Guangxu (14 August 1871 – 14 November 1908), personal name Zaitian, was the tenth Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the ninth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. His reign lasted from 1875 to 1908, but in practice he ruled, without Empress Dowager Cixi's influence, only from 1889 to 1898. He initiated the Hundred Days' Reform, but was abruptly stopped when the Empress Dowager launched a coup in 1898, after which he became powerless and was held under house arrest until his death. His era name, "Guangxu", means "glorious succession".

The emperor died in 1908 and it was widely suspected at the time that he had been poisoned. A forensic examination on his remains confirmed in 2008 that the cause of death was arsenic poisoning. The level of arsenic in his remains was 2,000 times higher than normal.

SIZE: 13.5 inches tall.
PROVENANCE: Private collection, Bath.

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.


Large Chinese vase, Qing Dynasty, 19th century. ...

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Chinese blue and white vase, perfect condition, 13.5 inches tall. Image 1 to demonstrate height.
Bears double ring mark of Kangxi but is, Tongzhi (1856-1875) or Guangxu (1871-1908).
It is a handsome piece with considerable presence, well potted and painted with traditional motifs of flowers and running vine. The chyrsanthemums represents ease and joviality.

SIZE: 13.5 inches tall, 5.2 inches wide.

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 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.

Huge hand painted Chinese blue and white ...

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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. A wrist watch lies next it in image 1 for scale.

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 from the mid 20th century it is a homage to the master potters of the past, and its quality is as fine.

DIMENSIONS: 25 inches in diameter. 9.5 inches tall.
PROVENANCE: Somerset private collection.

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,

Pair of Large Chinese Temple Jars, Qing ...

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A spectacular pair of fine quality Chinese vases, Qing Dynasty, reign of Emperor Tao Kuang (1821-1850) in perfect condition.
They are hand-painted and decorated with a pattern of dense scrolling foliage, chrysanthemums (represents ease and joviality), lotus (happiness in maturity, creative power, genius, purity in adversity and marital happiness). At the top of the jars are borders of lappet or cloud collars known as 'ruyi'.

SIZE: 26 inches tall (66cm)
PROVENANCE: Acquired by a Chinese barrister for his Elizabethan country house in Wiltshire (images 10 and 11). He purchased them in Hong Kong, along with another pair, in 1998. (images 8 and 9).
For the last 8 years in my private collection.

Rare Chinese Kangxi ‘Mounted Warriors' charger (1662-1722) ...

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A Chinese famille verte-decorated “Mounted Warriors” charger, Kangxi period. (1662-1722).
The interior enamelled with a battle scene depicting soldiers on horseback interspersed with several bannermen, the shaped rim decorated with mythical beasts, flowers, and antiques, the underside with artemisia leaf mark within a double circle.

NOTE: for other examples depicting battle scenes, see: Christie's, London, May 20, 2003, Lot 184 and Bonham's, Edinburgh, UK, March 25, 2015, Lot 266 and Freemans, Philadelphia, where the identical, but undamaged dish, Lot 56, April 8, 2021, sold for $5040 (£3828)

The Mounted Warriors decoration is rare. The dish, Wucai porcelain, is painted with considerable verve. In the centre a mounted general aims his spear at a fleeing foe.
Although the dish is badly damaged the enamel decoration is clear and bright .. well worth proper restoration.
Despite the damages this is still a beautiful and rare artwork, around 400 years old.

SIZE: 14.5 inches
PROVENANCE: Cheshire Private Collection.
Southern England Private Collection for the last 34 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.

Chinese Blue and White Vase, late 18th/early ...

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A fine quality, well painted Chinese vase, most likely of the reign of Emperor Jiaqing, Qing Dynasty (1796-1820).
The cover, or lid, is surmounted by a Dog of Foo; Foo dogs are actually lions. They originated in China, shi, meaning lion or shishi or stone lion. Yet they resemble the Chow Chow and Shih Tzu which led them to be called foo dogs (or fu dogs) in English. They are guardians of the home.
The main body of the vase depicts two four clawed dragons writhing amongst lotus flowers. 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.
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.

As can be seen in image 4 the rim of the vase has been damaged, however, with the cover in place this is not noticeable.

SIZE: 15 inches tall.
PROVENANCE: In one family for the last 90-100 years.