A RARE GOLD FIGURE OF A GUARDIAN 12TH/13TH CENTURY

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A RARE GOLD FIGURE OF A GUARDIAN 12TH/13TH CENTURY
Shown standing at attention with his hands clasped atop a long sword on a square base chased on the sides with foliate scroll, wearing a breast plate over his long robes which fall to the tops of square-toed shoes, the skirt finely etched to create a more matte finish, the well-defined face framed by a winged leather helmet surmounted by a flame-like finial--5in. (12.8cm.) high

Lot Essay

See Ezekiel Schloss, Ancient Chinese Ceramics Sculpture, From Han Through T'ang, Vol. II, pl. 546, for an illustration (front and reverse) of a pottery figure dated to the Six Dynasties, which bears comparison with this and the following lot

Our gold guardian figure wears a similar helmet with wing-like protruberances, tufted finial and neck wrap, whilst our gold zodiac figure (lot __) wears a chain-mail-style robe and similarly carries a snake-like creature around his neck. Perhaps more interesting is the comparison of the feet with those of the zodiac figure. To support the pottery example in the kiln during firing, a superfluous tail has been added to the robe, which viewed with the legs, gives a tripod appearance. The craftsman of our zodiac figure appears to have translated this pottery form into metal

In all probability our gold figures were produced in the same period as the Schloss pottery figure. Current academic opinion based on recent excavations yielding gold figures similar to the present lots, places their date of production to the Song Dynasty. A re-appraisal of the dating of either the pottery figure or the gold figures is therefore necessary
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