• 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 149


    Price Realised  

    The censer formed by the hollow shared body of two phoenixes standing on long legs amidst lingzhi fungus, with further stems of lingzhi suspending loose rings grasped in their beaks as they turn their heads in opposite directions, the openwork handles, which suspend loose rings, and the cover also formed by lingzhi sprigs
    7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm.) high

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    According to legend, the phoenix first appeared in Chinese history during the reign of the semi-mythical Yellow Emperor, circa 2600 BC, and is supposed to appear only in times of peace and prosperity. The phoenix also presides over the southern quadrant of the heavens, and during the Tang dynasty became the symbol of the empress. According to Terese Tse Bartholomew in Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, Hong Kong, 2006, p. 54, the five-colored tail of the phoenix represents the five cardinal virtues of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, knowledge and sincerity.


    Yamanaka & Co., Liquidation sale: Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 24-27 May 1944, lot 436.
    Sotheby's, New York, 24 June 1982, lot 163.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul E. Manheim (lots 149-51)

    Paul Manheim (1906-1999) was a rare early American collector of Asian art whose insight and vision distinguished him as one of America's most astute and discerning collectors. Professionally, Mr. Manheim joined the New York Wall Street firm, Lehman Brothers in 1928, and was a partner since 1944. As his financial successes grew, so did his interest in art. Manheim began collecting Asian art in the 1960s, with a special focus on works from India and Nepal. Before his death, the generous collector donated many works to the Brooklyn Museum, where he served on its Board of Trustees. This September, Christie's is honored to present several works of art from this distinguished collection, both in this sale and in our sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Art.


    Grand Exhibition: Ancient Chinese and Corean Works of Art, Yamanaka & Co., Osaka, 1934, no. 838.
    Three Dynasties of Jade, Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1971, no. 57.