A Pair of Cloisonné ‘Cock-o-doodle-doo’ Statues, Yuan Dynasty

1 week ago

Lot No. :HRCS-200107
Centuries of Style:Yuan dynasty (1*) (1271–1368)
Feature:Two cock statues. Cloisonné (2*), Chinese imperial decoration.
Source:Private collection
1* The Yuan dynasty, was the empire or ruling dynasty of China established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongolian Borjigin clan. It was the first foreign dynasty to rule all of China and lasted until 1368, after which the rebuked Genghisid rulers retreated to their Mongolian homeland and continued to rule the Northern Yuan dynasty. In the China of the Yuan, or Mongol era, various important developments in the arts occurred or continued in their development, including the areas of painting, mathematics, calligraphy, poetry, and theater, with many great artists and writers being famous today. Due to the coming together of painting, poetry, and calligraphy at this time many of the artists practicing these different pursuits were the same individuals, though perhaps more famed for one area of their achievements than others. Often in terms of the further development of landscape painting as well as the classical joining together of the arts of painting, poetry, and calligraphy, the Song dynasty and the Yuan dynasty are linked together. Yuan dynasty arts and culture is that so much of it has survived in China, relatively to works from the Tang dynasty and Song dynasty, which have often been better preserved in places such as the Shōsōin, in Japan.
2* 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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