A Cloisonné Goddess of Mercy with Qilin Statue

2 months ago

Lot No. :HRCS-170830
Centuries of Style: Qianlong Emperor (1*) (1711 - 1799)
Feature:A goddess of Mercy statue and a Qilin (2*). Cloisonné (3*) (Cloisonn enamel), Chinese imperial decoration.
Source:Private collection
1* The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty (1644-1911) of China .
2* The qilin, or kirin is a mythical hooved chimerical creature known in Chinese and other East Asian cultures, said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a sage or illustrious ruler. Qilin are often depicted as somewhat bejeweled, or as brilliant as jewels themselves, like Chinese dragons. They are often associated in colors with the elements, precious metals, stars, and gem stones. In Buddhist influenced depictions, they will refuse to walk upon grass for fear of harming a single blade, and thus are often depicted walking upon the clouds or the water. As they are divine and peaceful creatures, their diets do not include flesh. They take great care when they walk to never tread on a living creature, and appear only in areas ruled by a wise and benevolent leader. Qilin are thought to be a symbol of luck, good omens, protection, prosperity, success, and longevity by the Chinese. Qilin are also a symbol of fertility, and often depicted in decorations as bringing a baby to a family.
3* Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials. The resulting objects can also be called cloisonné. The decoration is formed by first adding compartments to the metal object by soldering or affixing silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges. These remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel or inlays, which are often of several colors. The technique was in ancient times mostly used for jewellery and small fittings for clothes, weapons or similar small objects decorated with geometric or schematic designs, with thick cloison walls. In the Byzantine Empire techniques using thinner wires were developed to allow more pictorial images to be produced, mostly used for religious images and jewellery, and by then always using enamel. By the 14th century this enamel technique had spread to China, where it was soon used for much larger vessels such as bowls and vases; the technique remains common in China to the present day, and cloisonné enamel objects using Chinese-derived styles were produced in the West from the 18th century.


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