• Fine Chinese Ceramics and Work auction at Christies

    Sale 2297

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    26 March 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1283

    A RARE TURQUOISE-INLAID GOLD CIRCULAR APPLIQUE

    WESTERN HAN DYNASTY (206 BC-AD 8)

    Price Realised  

    A RARE TURQUOISE-INLAID GOLD CIRCULAR APPLIQUE
    WESTERN HAN DYNASTY (206 BC-AD 8)
    Cast with the simplified heads of three kulan with turquoise-inlaid eyes and laid-back ears surrounding a domed center inlaid with a turquoise cabochon, the narrow outer border with diagonal striations above each kulan head, starting at the eye and continuing along the neck to represent the mane, with three tiny angular loops projecting from the rim on the hollow back where the underside of the turquoise inlay can be seen to be held in place by tiny tabs
    1 13/16 in. (4.5 cm.) diam., box
    Wt. 29.0 g.


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    The three heads on this rare plaque, with their long ears and striated manes are probably those of kulan, a type of wild ass which roamed over North China in ancient times. A similar gold roundel (4.8 cm. diam.), also cast with the heads of three kulan and inlaid in a similar manner with turquoise, is illustrated by Viktor Griessmaier, Sammlung Baron Eduard Von Der Heydt, Vienna, 1936, no. 67. The use of these heads as a decorative motif and their simplicity of design relate the appliques to pieces made in northern China, possibly Northeast China, for nomadic people.

    A Technical Examination Report is available upon request.

    Provenance

    Alice Boney, Japan, 1960s.