• 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 943

    A RARE IMPERIAL DATED EARLY MING IVORY SQUARE CHAKRA SEAL

    DATED TO THE SECOND YEAR OF XUANDE, CORRESPONDING TO 1427, AND OF THE PERIOD

    Price Realised  

    A RARE IMPERIAL DATED EARLY MING IVORY SQUARE CHAKRA SEAL
    DATED TO THE SECOND YEAR OF XUANDE, CORRESPONDING TO 1427, AND OF THE PERIOD
    The square block surmounted by a Buddhist Wheel of the Law flanked on the flat top by two incised inscriptions, one reading Xuande second year, the other reading 'Presented to Lama Shela', the base carved with a seal, 'Guard (your) conduct carefully in accordance with Buddhist cultivation'
    2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm.) high


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    An ivory seal of this form with a similarly dated dedicatory inscription from the Palmer Collection included in the O.C.S. exhibition, The Arts of the Ming Dynasty, London, 1957, no. 371, is illustrated by S. Riddell, Dated Chinese Antiquities: 600-1650, London, 1979, pl. 190, where the inscription is translated, presented to the Lama Ch'ao-pa Tsang-pu in the second year of Xuande (1427). Another similar seal in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is illustrated by R.D. Jacobsen, Appreciating China, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2002, no. 197. It has an inscription dating it to the second year of Xuande (1428), and was made for the Tibetan lama, Ma so nan ling ch'an. Both of these seals appear to have been gifts at the time the lamas visited the court in Beijing, reflecting the close ties between the Chinese court and Tibet during this period.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.


    Provenance

    Christie's, Hong Kong, 13 January 1987, lot 236.