A RARE DATED PARCEL-GILT BRONZE TEMPLE BELL AND A STAND
A RARE DATED PARCEL-GILT BRONZE TEMPLE BELL AND A STAND
A RARE DATED PARCEL-GILT BRONZE TEMPLE BELL AND A STAND
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A RARE DATED PARCEL-GILT BRONZE TEMPLE BELL AND A STAND
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PROPERTY FROM THE ANITA BALDWIN COLLECTION
A RARE DATED PARCEL-GILT BRONZE TEMPLE BELL AND A STAND

BELL, HONGZHI PERIOD, WITH CYCLICAL DATE CORRESPONDING TO 1499 AND OF THE PERIOD; STAND, JIAJING SIX-CHARACTER MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1522-1566)

Details
A RARE DATED PARCEL-GILT BRONZE TEMPLE BELL AND A STAND
BELL, HONGZHI PERIOD, WITH CYCLICAL DATE CORRESPONDING TO 1499 AND OF THE PERIOD; STAND, JIAJING SIX-CHARACTER MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1522-1566)
The bell is finely cast in high relief with a handle formed by the conjoined forequarters of two dragons above a border of stylized lotus petals, the body with eight panels, each containing a leaping dragon, within cloud borders, all above a band of windswept waves and the scalloped border enclosing the dated reign mark, Da Ming Hongzhi jiwei nian mengchun jiri zhi (Made on an auspicious day in the first month of Spring in the year of jiwei during the Ming Hongzhi period). The parcel-gilt stand is cast with dragons and phoenixes.
Bell 12 in. (30.5 cm.) high; stand 30 3/8 in. (77 cm.)
Provenance
Anita Baldwin (1876-1939) Collection, Los Angeles, California, and thence by descent within the family.

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Olivia Hamilton
Olivia Hamilton

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Lot Essay


The use of bells has a long history in China, beginning with the sets of musical bells developed in mid-2nd century BCE. Bronze temple bells would have formed an important part of the rituals in a Buddhist temple, they would have provided a platform for dedications; been rung on significant days; to announce events; and the melodious sound produced by the bell was considered a form of communication to the spirit world.

Ming-dynasty bronze bells of this shape can be found with a variety decorative registers and cylclical dates. A bronze bell of similar shape, decorated with inscriptions and trigrams and presented to a Daoist temple in 1431 by Zheng He, is illustrated in Ming, 50 Years That Changed China, London, 2014, pp. 272-273. Another example of this type, a bronze bell dated to the sixth year of Zhengde (1512), with registers of panels enclosing names and a double-dragon form handle, was sold at Christie's London, 7 November 2017, lot 192.

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