A rare pair of gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel horses 18th century (2)

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Lot 52
A rare pair of gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel horses
18th century

Sold for HK$ 125,000 (US$ 16,120) inc. premium
A rare pair of gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel horses
18th century
Each enamelled in white with black spots over the entire body, encircled by a tasselled trapping suspending bells, the back draped with a colourful saddle and saddle blanket in blue, yellow and red enamels, the head with a blue bridle, gilt wire reins, and a loose bell beneath the neck.
Each 10.5cm (4 1/8in) high (2).

Footnotes

  • 十八世紀 銅胎掐絲琺瑯小馬一對

    Cloisonné enamel works of art flourished during the Qing dynasty, with a wide variety of different shapes, sizes and decoration attesting to the high level of artistic creativity and technological prowess craftsmen possessed. Fantastic figures of animals, both real and mythological, were realised and rendered in colourful and superbly modelled forms, often forming a menagerie for decorating sumptuous residences and palaces.

    While animal figures of various types of birds, elephants, qilin and Buddhist lions are more typical, cloisonné enamel horses are rare. Horses feature prominently throughout Chinese history and are symbolic of a multitude of auspicious and powerful meanings. Since its domestication in North Eastern China around five thousand years ago, horses were an integral part of military and trade efforts. Military might was measured by the number of horsemen and war chariots, as mobility was an important strategic advantage. Horses were also essential for the transportation of goods and supplies, connecting the Chinese empire with lands further West. Horses were also associated with nobility and academic pursuits, and were often used as symbols of the scholar as shown in paintings.

    Compare an almost identical pair of cloisonné enamel horses, formerly in the collection of Henry M.Knight, illustrated in Bluett and Sons Ltd., Chinese Decorative Arts, London, 1974, fig.77. A related rare pair of famille verte models of horses, Kangxi, was sold in our London rooms, 17 May 2012, lot 374.

    清早中期開始,宮廷琺瑯器以動物形象造型的像生器開始增多,除傳統的甪端、獅子、仙鶴、馬匹、公雞之外,還有仿古式樣的鳧、瑞獸、犀、天雞等等。對比著名收藏家Henry M.Knight舊藏一對掐絲琺瑯立馬,與本拍品器形及大小幾乎一致,著錄於Bluett and Sons Ltd.,《Chinese Decorative Arts》,1974年,圖77。倫敦邦瀚斯曾售出一對清康熙五彩馬,其形制可作參考,2012年5月17日,編號374。
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A rare pair of gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel horses 18th century (2)
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