Rare 17th Century Chinese Wall Hanging Headlines At Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions As London prepares for a week of Asian art auctions in May, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are delighted to present an extremely rare 17th century transitional hanging from the Ming/Qing dynasty, whi
Rare 17th Century Chinese Wall Hanging Headlines
At Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions
As London prepares for a week of Asian art auctions in May, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are delighted to present an extremely rare 17th century transitional hanging from the Ming/Qing dynasty, which will headline their spectacular sale of Chinese Ceramics and Asian Works of Art, including an extensive selection of Tibetan art, and Asian textiles. The sale will be held in their London saleroom in the heart of Mayfair on Saturday 17th May.
At 222cm wide and 366cm high the exceptional, and imposing, wall hanging includes a central velvet Imperial panel, and would originally have been hung in a Buddhist Tibetan temple, having been joined with panels of luxurious Imperial Chinese silk garments and other articles, sent as diplomatic gifts from China, to form the assembled hanging.
Aristocrats at the time would donate textiles to Tibetan monasteries as acts of devotion, and it was the Buddhist monks that would have created the patchwork hanging which includes rare examples of bed hangings and bed covers produced in the 17th century for a Western market fuelled by the expansion of European trade with China. The assemblage of the hangings was done with a ritual solemnity, signifying the monks’ vow of poverty and acceptance of an ascetic life modelled after the Buddha.
Framed with a fine brocade, the outer borders are made from further dragon panels woven using the Kesi (cut silk) technique, and parts of a late Ming period costume (Chaofu) in the Imperial colour of incense, (jin huang). This unique and exceptionally rare piece of Chinese-Tibetan history is estimated to sell for £12,000 – 18,000. [Lot 100]
A 14-15th century gilt bronze figure of the Shakyamuni Buddha in the bhumisparsamudra, or ‘enlightenment’, pose is the first of two extremely rare Tibetan figures sure to attract a great deal of interest. The Shakyamuni Buddha is the Buddha on whose teachings the Buddhist religion is founded and the bhumisparsamudra is said to be his hand gesture when he reached enlightenment. The figure is estimated at £4,000 – 6,000. [Lot 117]
The second (pictured right) is a very unusual Sino-Tibetan 18th century cast silver and repousse’ metalwork figure of Jambhala the Tibetan wealth deity, and an emanation of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva (enlightened being) of Compassion. There are five Jambhala manifestations, each with their own way of helping to relieve poverty and promote financial stability. Crafted here in his white manifestation, he is removing the suffering of poverty and sicknesses through compassion. Originally sitting atop a lion, and holding the Wealth banner in his right arm the statue is estimated to sell for £4,000 – 6,000. [Lot 118]
A series of scroll paintings on cotton or silk, known as Thangkas, are highlighted by an extremely rare Sino-Tibetan example from the 19th century, which includes the distinguished hand impressions and seal of the Lama on the reverse. The scene depicts the multi-armed and eleven headed Avalokiteśvara