• Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works  auction at Christies

    Sale 2196

    Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    15 September 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 293

    A RARE LARGE ZITAN FLOOR MIRROR

    18TH/19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A RARE LARGE ZITAN FLOOR MIRROR
    18TH/19TH CENTURY
    With beaded, rounded rectangular zitan frame enclosing the glass panel and set into the solid zitan base carved on both sides with horizontal panels of confronted archaistic kui dragons repeated on the shaped aprons, flanked by tall spandrels carved in similar fashion and set into shoe feet carved with further archaistic scroll
    65 in. (165.1 cm.) high, 32½ in. (82.6 cm.) wide, 21½ in. (54.6 cm.) deep


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    Standing mirrors of this size appear to be quite rare, although smaller examples are known. It is also a possibility that the current frame once held an embellished or enameled panel. See, for example, the slightly smaller (141 cm.) mid-Qing zitan floor screen with ivory inlays of the thirteen foreign firms in Guangzhou, illustrated in Witness to the Qing Empire: Cultural Relics From the Palace Museum, vol. III, Macau, 2007, p. 345, no. 94. See another larger (218 cm.) 18th century floor screen inset with an enameled panel depicting European ladies, illustrated by X. Yang and C. Zhu in Secret World of the Forbidden City: Splendors From China's Imperial Palace, Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, Santa Ana, 2000, p. 63.

    It is interesting to note that this particular style of archaistic carving on the aprons, horizontal panel and spandrels appears frequently on mid and late Qing dynasty furniture, and seems to be derived from an early Qing form. Compare the similar carving on the rails of a zitan luohan chuang in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Ming Qing Guting Jiaju Da Guan, vol. I, Beijing, 2006, p. 73, where it is dated to the Qing dynasty. See ibid., vol. II, p. 431, pl. 463, for a detail of an early Qing table spandrel showing a similar, though less formalized archaistic carving of a dragon.

    Provenance

    Acquired by the grandfather of the present owners, Whampoa, Guangdong, circa 1890-1920s, thence by descent within the family.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A NORTH-AMERICAN CHINESE FAMILY COLLECTION, FORMED DURING THE LATE QING DYNASTY