Tuesday 7 November 2023

Lot 42

A pair of Chinese famille rose ‘four gentlemen’ bowls and covers  Late Qing/Republic period Each...

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Lot 42

A pair of Chinese famille rose ‘four gentlemen’ bowls and covers 
Late Qing/Republic period

Price Realised: £394

Estimate: £300 - £500

Price realised is hammer price plus fees (31.2% Buyers Premium inclusive of VAT).

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Lot 42


A pair of Chinese famille rose ‘four gentlemen’ bowls and covers 

Late Qing/Republic period

Each bowl and cover painted with the ‘Four Gentlemen’ (四君子 sìjūnzǐ): shoots of bamboo, a flowering prunus tree, sprays of orchids, and branches of chrysanthemums. 

10cm diameter (2). 

晚清/民國 粉彩繪‘四君子’圖紋對盌

‘Four gentlemen’ or ‘four noble ones’, in Chinese sijunzi 四君子, is the name that is given collectively to the four plants of prunus, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum. A popular subject in painting, both of birds and flowers and of ink painting, since at least the Song dynasty, these plants are often depicted separately; when depicted together they represent the four seasons.

The plum blossom, representing winter, also symbolises endurance to adversity, as it blooms through ice to herald the spring. It also serves as a metaphor of inner beauty and humble display against adverse conditions. Growing on gnarled old branches, looking fresh and pure, plum blossoms can also symbolise vigour in old age.

The wild orchid, growing in inaccessible areas such as crevices in rocks overlooking rivers or streams, easily overlooked, are a symbol of spring, but also of virtue of simple beauty, in virtue of their looks but also of their subtle, yet persistent fragrance.

Bamboo, representing summer in this set, is a symbol of strength, both physical and mental, as it stands erect, but in the strongest of gales it bends and sways, but will not break. Its hollow trunk is also considered a symbol of humility. Together with prunus and pine, another evergreen, bamboo constitutes a different group, known as ‘the Three Friends of Winter’.

Chrysanthemum, beautiful and colourful, represents autumn. As it blooms in autumn when all other flowers are fading away, it symbolises the ability to withstand adversity. It is tranquil and harmonious with others, but also dignified and indomitable.

Buyer's Premium

The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over £1,000 as follows:
0 to £50,000 - 4%
£50,000.01 to £200,000 - 3%
£200,000.01 to £350,000 - 1%
£350,000.01 to £500,000 - 0.5%
Exceeding £500,000 - 0.25%
ARR is capped at £12,500

Please note ARR is calculated in euros. Auctioneers will apply current exchange rates.

Export of goods

Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website www.artscouncil.org.uk or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

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