A rare pair of cloisonné enamel offering dishes, Qianlong period (1736-1795). Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2014
Each shallow dish is decorated with a central flower head encircled by the Eight Buddhist Emblems (bajixiang), and on the underside with lotus sprays above a band of linked ruyi heads. The spreading, pedestal foot is encircled by a gilded band that separates an upper band of archaistic bird scroll from rows of ‘eyes’, ruyi heads and demi-lotus sprays in the lower band. 7 in. (17.8 cm.) diam. Lot 611. Estimate $20,000 – $30,000
Provenance: Christie’s Los Angeles, 20 May 1998, lot 134.
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF DAVID B. PECK III
The inclusion of The Eight Buddhist Emblems in the decoration of these dishes indicates that they, and others like them, would have been used on an altar to hold offerings during Buddhist religious ceremonies. A pair of later date, bearing an inscription dated to the sixteenth year of Guangxu (1890), with a somewhat different dish shape, and with different decoration, in the Clague Collection, Phoenix Art Museum, is illustrated by Bèatrice Quette (ed.) Cloisonné: Chinese Enamel from the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, Bard Graduate Center, New York, 2011, p. 299, no. 145. The inscription on these dishes states that they were made as an « offering vessel for the Loyi Hall. »
Christie’s. RIVERS OF COLOR: CLOISONNÉ ENAMELS FROM PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTIONS, 18 September 2014, New York, Rockefeller Plaza