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Newly Discovered Asian Treasures at Dreweatts Auction

Dreweatts present the first Chinese Ceramics & Asian Works of Art sale of 2015. Featuring 170 lots from Yuan through Ming, Qing and the other Imperial dynasties to 20th century, the auction features textiles, ceramics, works of art and artworks from a number of private collections. The auction will be held on Tuesday 19th May 2015 at Dreweatts’ Donnington Priory.

Large pair of cloisonné enamel double crane censers
Large pair of cloisonné enamel double crane censers
Mark Newstead, Head of Asian and European Ceramics and Works of Art at Dreweatts said; “The latest Chinese Ceramics & Asian Works of Art sale at Dreweatts builds on the strength of former auctions to offer pieces from private collections to buyers worldwide. With works spanning eight centuries of Asian art history the auction appeals to buyers of all tastes.”

The jewel from one family’s private collection, discovered by Dr Benedetta Mottino and leading the works of art lots is a large pair of cloisonné enamel double crane censers measuring 150cm high. As birds with a long life span, cranes are associated with longevity, immortality and wisdom in Chinese tradition, particularly following the rise of Daoism from the Han dynasty. The pair has been in a family collection for a number of generations and is estimated to achieve £6,000-8,000 [Lot 27].

Another important work of art is a bronze model of a tiger from Warring States-Western Han style. The tiger is one of the oldest and most revered animals in Chinese history; a symbol of peace, tigers were associated with a successful reign and were highly regarded as protectors and guardians due to their power strength and courage [Lot 8, est. £3,000-5,000].

A 19th century rare embroidered Imperial apricot ground, twelve symbols dragon robe leads the textile works in the sale. Imperial dragon robes were worn during festive holidays by the emperor and as such were adorned with the twelve symbols of Imperial sovereignty arranged in groups; the sun, the moon, the stars, the dragon, and the flowery fowl, which are depicted on the upper garment, the temple-cup, the aquatic grass, the flames, the grain of rice, the hatchet, and the symbol of distinction, which are embroidered on the lower garment [Lot 71, est. £8,000-10,000].

Another important robe in the textiles section of the sale is a coral ground silk Tibetan chuba, tailored from 18th century Chinese silk brocade. Yuan, Ming and Qing emperors patronised important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and abbots with lavish gifts like this silk robe. Rarely appearing at auction, this example is estimated at £3,000-5,000 [Lot 76].

Bridging the gap from textiles to artworks is a 17th-18th century rare Tibetan thangka (painting on cotton or silk) of Shantirakshita, the ‘Guardian of Peace’ a renowned 8th century Indian Buddhist Brahim and abbot of Nalanda [Lot 132, est. £2,000-3,000].

Already attracting attention in the ceramics section of the sale is a Republican Period vase amusingly painted, with a figure hiding and peeking out from inside a pagoda and a seated dog at the entrance to a palace garden estimated at £800-1,200 [Lot 122] a good 19th century porcelain screen mounted in a hardwood frame of large size measuring 93cm high overall [Lot 113, est. £800-1,200].

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