A PAIR OF ARCHAISTIC GILT-DECORATED BRONZE VASES, GU
VARIOUS PROPERTIES
A PAIR OF ARCHAISTIC GILT-DECORATED BRONZE VASES, GU

KANGXI PERIOD (1662-1722)

Details
A PAIR OF ARCHAISTIC GILT-DECORATED BRONZE VASES, GU
KANGXI PERIOD (1662-1722)
Each vessel is finely cast to the upper and lower sections with the Daoist symbols representing the Five Sacred Peaks amidst scrolling clouds, separated by band of archaistic kui dragon scroll to the mid-section.
16 in. (40.5 cm.) high
Provenance
From a private collection in Brussels, Belgium.

Brought to you by

Pedram Rasti
Pedram Rasti

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Lot Essay

The gilt-decorated emblems are Daoist talismanic diagrams known as the 'Five Sacred Peaks', Wuyue Zhenxing. Legend says that the 'true forms' of the Five Sacred Peaks were first given to the Han dynasty Emperor Wudi (r. 140-87 BC) by Xiwangmu (the Queen Mother of the West), and that he had them mounted and encased in precious materials. The emperor gave a copy of the 'true forms' to one of his ministers, and subsequent transmissions of the 'true forms' are believed to be based upon this. By the Ming Wanli period(1573-1619), these symbols were regularly engraved on stone steles, and a rubbing from a stone stele dated to 1604 is kept at the Zhong-yue Miao on Mount Song in Henan (illustrated in Daoism and the Arts of China, The Art Institute of Chicago, 2000, p. 358, no. 137). This has inscriptions providing the names and locations of the mountains, the gods who rule over them, and references to the peaks in classical literature. Daoists believed that, when ascending these mountains, if they wore representations of the 'true forms', they would embody the powerful energy of the mountains. This would, in turn invoke protection from the gods of the mountains, and thus help the wearer to fend off danger from lesser unwelcome spirits.

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