• Fine Chinese Ceramics and Work auction at Christies

    Sale 7762

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    3 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 96

    A FINELY CARVED MOTTLED WHITE AND GREY JADE TABLE-SCREEN

    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-95)

    Price Realised  

    A FINELY CARVED MOTTLED WHITE AND GREY JADE TABLE-SCREEN
    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-95)
    Of oval shape, deeply carved to both sides depicting The Eighteen Luohan standing on various rocky platforms and bridges beside a flowing river, beneath overhanging pine trees in a rocky landscape, the well-polished stone with creamy white, greyish-celadon and black speckled areas
    7¼ in. (18.3 cm.) high, wood stand


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    Images of luohan or arhats probably originated in Kashmir, and were first mentioned in the Mahayanavataraka which was translated into Chinese in AD 437; their names were later identified by the early Tang pilgrim monk Xuanzang in AD 654. According to early texts, these divine beings are advanced disciples of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni who epitomize the ideals of self-discipline and meditation. Having reached the end of the Eight-Fold Path, they have postponed Nirvana in order to remain in the world to protect the Buddhist law until the coming of the future redeeming Buddha, Maitreya. They are Angaja, Ajita, Vanavasin, Kalika, Vajriputra, Bhadra, Kanakavatsa, Kanaka Bharadvaja, Bakula, Chudpantaka, Pindola Bharadvaja, Pantaka, Nagasena, Gopaka, Abheda and Dharmata. For a discussion of images of the luohan, see W. Ho and W. C. Fong, 'Some Buddhist Images', Possessing the Past: Treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Metropolitan Museum, New York, 1996, pp. 210-7.

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