• For the Enjoyment of Scholars: auction at Christies

    Sale 2391

    For the Enjoyment of Scholars: Selections from the Robert H. Blumenfield Collection

    25 March 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 866

    A RARE PARCEL-GILT BRONZE FIGURE OF A FOREIGNER

    17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A RARE PARCEL-GILT BRONZE FIGURE OF A FOREIGNER
    17TH CENTURY
    Made as an arrow vase for the game of touhu, the bearded Western Asiatic figure shown dancing, wearing a belted coat and tall boots, with a dagger and cup at his belt, the top of his head and sleeves hollow
    14¼ in. (36.2 cm.) high, wood stand


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    This unusual and lively figure represents a foreign merchant of Western Asiatic type. A similar figure wearing a hat, with a jar balanced atop the sleeve of the raised arm, and dancing atop a base further cast with a buddhistic lion was sold by Sotheby's, Paris, 18 December 2009, lot 255. See, also, the related figure standing on a base, with one foot resting on the head of a recumbent lion, as he holds aloft two cylinders at different heights, with two others tied to his body and with the top of his head hollowed, illustrated in Oriental Works of Art, The Oriental Art Gallery, London, June 1995, no. 40, where it is dated 16th century and described as an arrow vase made for the game of touhu, a game of arrow tossing. For a full discussion of this game see C. Mackenzie and I. Finkel, eds., Asian Games: The Art of Contest, Asia Society, New York, 2004, pp. 274-81.