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    Sale 2027

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    17 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 403

    A LARGE SICHUAN PAINTED GREY POTTERY FIGURE OF A SHAMAN

    HAN DYNASTY (206 BC-AD 220)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LARGE SICHUAN PAINTED GREY POTTERY FIGURE OF A SHAMAN
    HAN DYNASTY (206 BC-AD 220)
    The standing figure wearing a belted three-quarter-length tunic draped with an animal skin over the shoulders, his feet encased in rope-tied sandles, holding a writhing serpent in his left hand and an axe in his right, his monster-like face modeled with menacing expression enhanced by bulging eyes and exposed fangs flanking a long tongue that extends down the front of his body, with a pair of elephant-like ears below a headdress with projecting crescents flanking a central cupped disc, with extensive earth encrustation
    Approximately 44½ in. (113 cm.) high


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    Figures of this type holding serpents appear to have been guardian figures placed at the entrance of Han tombs. One such figure found in a tomb east of Hualong Bridge, Chongqing in 1950, is illustrated in Kaogu tongxun, 1958:3, pp. 87-103, pl. IX:1.

    A related figure was included in the exhibition, Ancient Sichuan: Treasures from a Lost Civilization, Seattle Art Museum, 2001, no. 118. See, also, an example missing its legs that was excavated in 1957 from the Huangshui Xiang'ai tomb, Shuangliu county, Sichuan province, and now in the Sichuan Provincial Museum, included in the exhibition, China: 5000 Years, Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1998, no. 98.

    The result of Oxford Authentication Ltd. thermoluminescence test number C108u77 is consistent with the dating of this lot.

    Provenance

    Acquired in Hong Kong in the 1990s.