A large cloisonné enamel censer and cover, Ming dynasty, 16th-17th century. Estimate 40,000 —60,000 GBP. Photo: Sotheby’s
the tapering rectangular body rising to an everted rim, set with notched gilt-bronze flanges at the corner and sides, the rim with a pair of removable upright loop handles, brightly decorated with stylised taotie masks below a band of confronting archaistic kui dragons, the base similarly decorated with a pair of dragons writhing amongst ruyi clouds contesting a flaming pearl around a gilt-bronze cartouche with a Jingtai mark, the domed cover pierced with gilt-bronze dragon panels divided by floral scrolls beneath a lappet band, wood stand. Quantité: 5 – 45.7cm., 18in.
Notes: Impressive for its large size, the form of this censer derives from archaic fang ding bronzes. A Western Zhou (1046-771 BC) fang ding standing on four cylindrical feet is published in Jessica Rawson, Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collection, vol. IIB, Washington D.C., 1990, pl. 7.
Censers of this type, raised on four legs, included one sold in these rooms, 7th December 1993, lot 61; one forming part of an altar set, in the Pierre Uldry collection, illustrated in Helmut Brinker and Albert Lutz, Chinesisches Cloisonné. Die Sammlung Pierre Uldry, Zurich, 1985, cat. no. 267; another in the Heliot collection, published in William Cohn, Chinese Art, London, 1930, pl. 24; and a further example sold in these rooms, 7th November 2007, lot 352. See also a smaller fang ding censer attributed to the Wanli period (1572-1620) but inscribed with an apocryphal Jingtai reign mark, and decorated with confronting dragons, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Metal-bodied Enamel Ware, Hong Kong, 2002, pl. 51.
Sotheby’s. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Londres | 05 nov. 2014, 10:00 AM