The Emperor's Calligraphy
Rare Calligraphy by Qianlong Emperor to go on Sale Next Month
A rare calligraphic work by Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) of the Qing Dynasty is one of the items to be auctioned in November as part of the ‘Fine Chinese Paintings’ auction organized by Chiswick Auctions. This auction will take place alongside the ‘Kangxi: Porcelain and Decorative Arts’ and ‘Asian Art’ auctions on 12th November at the Chiswick Auctions salesroom in Chiswick, London. The Qianlong Emperor is arguably the greatest collector and patron of the arts in more than 5000 years of Chinese history. His collection spanned Chinese, European, Japanese and Indian works. The Emperor was also a poet and calligrapher in his own right having written tens of thousands of poems during his lifetime.
The work coming up for auction is a poem by Wei Zhuang (836-910), which was included in the Literary Compendium,the Complete Library in Four Branches of Literature commissioned by the Qianlong Emperor in 1772. An English translation of it, is as follows:
Sailing cheerfully on the river in drizzles, all one can hear is the sound of rain hitting green lotus leaves. Riding and whipping the horse once landed, only takes half a day to get to Lu Ling.
Whilst Imperial works from the Qianlong Emperor’s reign come up for auction from time to time works by the Emperor himself, whose official title was “Son of Heaven”, are extremely rare.
Calligraphy is considered China’s highest art form and is Chinese characters [the components of Chinese writing similar to words] written in a fixed sequence, so it is possible to track order and process of the artist in a way not possible with other art forms.
“The work allows us to share a moment of artistic creation and reflection with one of the most important Emperors in China's history” said Lazarus, Head of Asian Art at Chiswick Auctions who previously studied Chinese Paintings at Oxford University and Peking University.
Last year Chiswick Auctions broke an Auction House record selling a single handscroll painting for £267,000, for which they alsowon the Asian Art in London prize. Chiswick Auctions is the only London saleroom holding dedicated Fine Chinese Paintings sales.
The painting is estimated to fetch £6,000-£8,000 in the FINE CHINESE PAINTINGS, auction on 12th November 2018.
Among other exciting highlights is a discovery of an 18th century Qing Dynasty Imperial Cup. The stunning piece of porcelain was found in an attic, where it had been packed away with other items and forgotten about for thirty years.
Decorated with a cockerel and hen group and two chicks, the cup was made in tribute to the 15th Century Imperial chicken cup, which holds the record price for a piece of Chinese porcelain (£21.5 million). It will be offered in Chiswick Auctions Asian Art sale on November 12, 2018.
Lazarus Halstead, Head of Chiswick Auctions Asian Art Department, said: “We are delighted to offer this Qing Dynasty Imperial interpretation of a 15th Century Chenghua chicken cup. This version bears an -apocryphal Chenghua mark, but the design of the cockerel, chicken and chicks is charmingly reimagined for 18th century Imperial tastes.
This will be the first time in 50 years that the cup, which was discovered in a forgotten box in a dusty attic, has been seen on the market. The beautifully-crafted piece has come from a private European collection acquired during the 1940s/50s and Chiswick Auctions is thrilled to present such an exciting rediscovery to the world.”
18th century Imperial porcelain such as this can often make hundreds of thousands of pounds, but as this one is slightly damaged, it has been given the conservative pre-sale estimate of £5,000-£8,000.
However, such is the overwhelming interest in registering for the auction in relation to this piece already, that expert Lazarus Halstead has said he expects the cup to make in excess of £20,000.Advocates and collectors world-wide agree and no doubt will be watching the piece when it goes under the hammer, Halstead said: “This is a rare opportunity for collectors to own an 18th century version of the most iconic piece of Chinese porcelain ever made”.
Other highlights include:
A JADE VASE FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE 4th EARL OF DUDLEY
JADES FROM THE COLLECTION OF EMANUEL SNOWMAN
A CARVED JADE ‘LOTUS’ HANDLED BOWL
A JADE 'BATS AND CLOUDS' GU VASE
A CARVED JADE TRIPOD INCENSE BURNER
A CARVED JADE TRIPOD INCENSE BURNER
A RARE STONEWARE TEAPOT INSCRIBED BY HAN ZHEN
A YIXING TEAPOT AND COVER
A RARE AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT IMPERIAL VASE, FROM THE REIGN OF THE JIAQING EMPEROR OF THE QING DYNASTY
A FAMILLE ROSE ‘BOYS AT PLAY’ BOTTLE VASE
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