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Press Release - September 4, 2019

Qing Dynasty Elephant Censer Among Prized Lots in Heritage Auctions’ Fine & Decorative Asian Art Auction

Sale features extraordinary selection of Chinese snuff bottles


Chinese Imperial Cloisonné Enamel and Cabochon-Mounted Gilt Bronze Elephant Censer
DALLAS, Texas (September 4, 2019) — An enamel and gilt bronze censer from the Qing Dynasty is expected to vie for top-lot honors in Heritage Auctions' Fine & Decorative Asian Art Auction Sept. 9-10 in New York. The sale includes numerous lots from private American collections.

"This is a good auction with a wide variety of privately sourced materials from many periods in Chinese history,” Heritage Auctions Asian Art Director Richard Cervantes said. "The range of artwork here represented will capture the interest and satisfy collectors of Asian Art in virtually every category.”

A Chinese Imperial Cloisonné Enamel and Cabochon-Mounted Gilt Bronze Elephant Censer, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period (estimate: $50,000-70,000) comes from a prominent Southern California family of discerning art collectors. The family has owned it for roughly half a century, since acquiring it during the 1960s. Of note are the elephant-form legs and the large elephant finial on the cover, a motif that exemplifies the imperial style of the 18th century.

A Large Chinese Gilt Lacquered Bronze Figure of Guanyin, late Ming Dynasty (estimate: $40,000-60,000) is an excellent example of such figures the period. The lacquer is exceptionally well-preserved, and the sheer size of the figure – it stands 21 inches tall – gives it exceptional presence, towering over similar figures often cast to a smaller scale.

A Chinese Jun Ware Jar, Yuan Dynasty (estimate: $25,000-45,000) is an example of the Jun stoneware from the late Chinese middle ages that was prized for its robin blue color and royal purple splashes caused by glaze transmutation. Jun ware was difficult to fire and most that has been found has been small bowls and plates. Jun ware of this size was exceedingly rare.

An Imperial Chinese Carved Three-Color Lacquer Nine Dragons Box and Cover, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period (estimate: $20,000-40,000) is the type of box that was used to present gifts of significant value or importance in the Chinese Imperial court. Such gift boxes are now appreciated as much as the gifts they contained, and with good reason, as the workmanship that went into creating such boxes was extraordinary. The lacquer was carefully applied in thin layers. Several base layers were applied and then other layer of a different color would be added, followed by more lacquer, in a process that could be repeated multiple times. Once the desired number of layers of color and lacquer were applied, ornate designs were carved into the box, ultimately revealing intricate multi-color artwork, depending on the depth of the carving. In this case, the spaces carved into the red surface reveal brown and grey/black layers underneath.

A Fine Mughal-Inspired Chinese Carved Celadon Jade Ewer, late Ming Dynasty (estimate: $15,000-20,000) is made in the style of the royal court of Northern India's Mughal Empire. The Chinese imperial court and other elites in Chinese society favored decorative arts in the Islamic style. The artists who made this ewer painstakingly carved it from a solid piece of jade, forming the slender walls in an ornate pattern emblematic of the Mughal style but also incorporating repeating "Shou” characters bestowing a wish for long life.

The 433-lot sale also includes a selection of 68 snuff bottles made from many of the diverse materials Chinese artists traditionally use, including jade, hard stone, amber, glass, porcelain, etc. Among the top snuff bottles in the sale:

· A Fine Chinese Silhouette Carved Chalcedony Snuff Bottle, 19th century (estimate: $3,000-5,000)

· A Fine Chinese Silhouette Carved Chalcedony Monkeys Snuff Bottle, Qing Dynasty (estimate: $3,000-5,000)

· A Chinese White Jade Melon-Form Snuff Bottle with Carved Hardwood Stand, Qing Dynasty (estimate: $3,000-4,000)

· A Fine Chinese Carved Agate Silhouette Snuff Bottle, Qing Dynasty (estimate: $2,500-3,500)

· A Chinese Inside-Painted Rock Crystal Snuff Bottle Attributed to Zhou Leyuan, early 20th century (estimate: $2,500-3,500)

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

A Monumental Pair of Chinese Cloisonné Enamel and Gilt Metal Attendants, late Qing Dynasty (estimate: $25,000-35,000)

A Rare and Monumental Japanese Carved Wooden Figure of a Seated Shinto Priest, Kamakura Period (estimate: $20,000-25,000)

A Tibetan Painted Silk Lama Thangka, 18th century (estimate: $15,000-25,000)

A Pair of Chinese Carved White Jade and Partial Gilt Carved Hardwood Table Screens, late 19th-early 20th century (estimate: $15,000-25,000)

A Fine Chinese Famille Rose Enameled Twin-Handled Porcelain Vase, Qing Dynasty, Daoguang Period (estimate: $15,000-20,000)

A Rare Pair of Chinese Cloisonné Enamel and Gilt Bronze Scroll Containers in Fitted Hardwood Case, Qing Dynasty, 18th century (estimate: $10,000-15,000)

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet's most popular auction-house website,, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist

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