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
flanked by Manjusri, the bodhisattva associated with transcendent wisdom, and Vajrapani, one of the first bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism, and protector and guide of the Buddha. They are surrounded, on either side, by musicians and above are the chief of the Four Heavenly Kings, Vajshravana, and deities Mahakala and Yama, protective guardians of the dharma. They all set within the celestial realm of the Buddha.
Unusual in format, the thangka is a brilliant adaptation of Indian, Chinese and Tibetan elements, and provides a powerful visualisation of the blissful state of enlightenment achieved through the cult of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. It is estimated at £8,000 – 12,000. [Lot 133]
An extensive selection of Asian textiles, from official garments to a rare collection of children’s shoes and hats, are an unusual addition to the sale. Clothing children in auspicious garments has historically been part of Chinese traditional costumes, with children wearing several different styles of shoes and hats from infancy through adolescence that mimicked the features of especially powerful animals. The purpose was to protect children against evil spirits, or bestow good wishes of success and moral teaching.
The charming specimens included in this section, are a wonderful visual representation of the basics of the
Chinese decorative system, which involves the use of auspicious images, intended to act and become alive for the benefit of the wearer. These colourful garments, therefore, are an important resource to record popular contemporary beliefs and preoccupations, which official historical records often failed to document.
Notable amongst the collection are a collection of four 19th century Chinese silk embroidered shoes, shaped as fish, dragons, cats and Buddhist dogs, [Lot 86] and a collection of five festive hats for children from the late 19th and early 20th century, shaped as dragons, symbolising potent and auspicious powers, and butterflies, symbolising beauty, elegance and long life. [Lot 91] Both lots are estimated at £200-300.
The sale is on view at Bloomsbury House, Maddox Street, London, in the week prior to the sale. The auction will take place in the same venue. Online bidding with no additional premium will be available via www.dreweatts.com.