• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2625

    A Fine Collection of Chinese Bamboo Carvings from the Personal Collection of Mr and Mrs Gerard Hawthorn

    3 December 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 2344

    A RARE AND FINELY CARVED BAMBOO FIGURE OF GUANDI

    Price Realised  

    A RARE AND FINELY CARVED BAMBOO FIGURE OF GUANDI
    LATE MING DYNASTY, 17TH CENTURY

    The seated figure of Guandi is well modelled seated on rockwork, the hair swept in a high chignon under a headdress, above rounded cheeks and a long pointed beard, the narrowed eyes under knitted brows providing a contemplative expression, the body turned to one side with one arm resting onto a rockwork pedestal, leaning over to study the pages of an opened book, dressed in military armour under voluminous robes
    6 in. (15.2 cm.) high, stand


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Bamboo carvings in the form of Guandi are very rare. Guandi is based on a historical character, popularised by the 14th century classical novel, Sanguo Zhiyan Yi, 'The Romance of the Three Kingdoms'. He is reputed to be the military hero, Guanyu, of the Three Kingdoms period who died in battle with his adopted son, Guanping, and his trusted general Zhoucang. The figure of Guandi, himself underwent much transformation in Chinese history from military hero to become deified as a God of War. The cult of Guandi was actively supported by the Ming Court and his images can be found in Court paintings, for example, the large hanging scroll entitled, 'Guan Yu Captures an Enemy General', by the early 15th century painter, Shang Xi, illustrated by C. Clunas, Art in China, p. 70, fig. 32.

    Provenance

    Acquired in London in the 1960's