Asian and Islamic Art



Ariane SUDAN

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A large cloisonné fish basin, China, Qing dynasty, the interior decorated with numerous carps and other fishes, amphibians, crustaceans and aquatic plants, the exterior decorated with a landscape of deer and cranes, among rocks, trees and clouds, surmounted by a frieze of leiwen, the base decorated with flowers on a backgroud of "cracked ice", 64 cm diameter (exterior), 26.5 cm high

Provenance: private Swiss collection

A similar basin is in the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, inv. no. B60M10+. Another is illustrated in BRINKER Helmut and LUTZ Albert, Chinesisches Cloisonné, Die Sammlung Pierre Uldry, Museum Rietberg Zürich, 1985, plate no. 322. It is dated to the second half of the 18th century.

Some similar basins, all dated to the Qianlong period, have been sold : one at Sotheby's, London, 6th November 2019, lot no. 122, one at Christie's, Hong Kong, 30th May 2018, lot no. 3039, on at Christie's, Paris, 9th June 2015, lot no. 58, one at Christie's, Hong Kong, 30th May 2012, lot no. 3910
Spinach jade incense burner, China, archaistic taotie and leiwen frieze decoration, mythical creature-head handles, geometrically decorated lid, dragon-shaped grip, with wooden base, 13 cm diameter (inside), 22 cm long (with handles)

Service à thé en argent, Japon, Yokohama, époque Meiji, 7 pièces, décor d'iris en relief ciselé et repoussé sur fond martelé, poinçon de garantie jiun gin et poinçon de la compagnie Ozeki sous la base, 12000g,  71 x 55 cm (plateau)
Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), 武揚金澤八勝夜景 (Buyô Kanazawa Hasshô yakei, "Eight Night Views of Kanazawa"), triptych composed of prints in ôban tate-e format, Japan, 1857, from the series 雪月花 (Settsugekka, "Snow, Moon and Flowers"), 74x35.5 cm (triptych) (restorations). This triptych is one of Hiroshige's last works. Towards the end of his life, the artist explored the theme of "snow, moon and flowers" in three triptychs, including this one. Ours is a tribute to the moon, which is enthroned over Kanazawa, a city near Tokyo. A group of birds in flight attempt to touch the moon, while a calm autumnal landscape of boats, trees and hills adorns this nocturnal triptych. Lot 4107 in the online auction is another triptych from this series, this time dedicated to flowers. 

Provenance: Catherine Gide Collection, inherited from Théo Van Rysselberghe (her grandfather) and André Gide (her father)

Exhibitions : Japonismes, Impressionnismes, Musée des impressionnismes Giverny, 30 March to 15 July 2018, Giverny and 26 August 2018 to 20 January 2019, Remagen; La collection Catherine Gide, Villa Théo, Le Lavandou, 9 June to 26 September 202

This triptych is mentioned in an article by TAMBURINI Nicole, "Theo Van Rysselberghe et le Japonisme, rivaliser avec les purs maîtres impressionnistes: les Japonais", published in the Bulletin des Amis d'André Gide, 211-212, Fall 2021, p. 66

A similar triptych is in the British Museum, London, inv. n°1910,0418,0.196.1-3, another in the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, inv. n°21.7615-7

A similar triptych sold at Christie's, New York, 21 September 2021, lot 36
A goose-shaped bronze incense burner, China, 50 cm high  

For a similar incense burner, see Sotheby's, Paris, 30-31 October 2018, lot n° 138

Provenance: the collection of Philippe Gutzwiller 
A double gourd form porcelain vase decorated in underglaze blue, possibly transitional period, ca 1640-50
A lacquer wood chest, China, late Qing dynasty, 36x86x56 cm 
A pair of polygonal vases signed Wang Qi, China, dated Yiwei 1919
2 composite mirrors, China, 19th century, 25 cm long and 26,5 cm long (chip)

Provenance: purchased during the interwar period 
An archaic bronze tapir-shaped incense burner, China, late Ming dynasty, 19,5 cm high  

A bronze figure of a reclining ram, China, probably Song dynasty, silver and gilt spiral decorations, 8,5 cm long 

Provenance: The Collection of Patrick Pakenham (1922-2019), Geneva, thence by descent. This ram appears on an insurance inventory performed in Lausanne in February 1989 as n°79

A card of C.T. LOO & Cie has an ink script on the reverse: "Petit animal en bronze incrusté or et argent. Epoque SUNG (960-1279)"

A blade in a shirasaya with a tachi koshirae, Japan, signed Bizen Osafune Sukesada and dated 1516
A carved marble with landscape, figures, cranes and pavilions decorations, China, 22,5 cm long, 15,5 cm high 

Provenance: The Collection of Patrick Pakenham (1922-2019), Geneva, thence by descent. This carved marble appears on an insurance inventory performed in Lausanne in February 1989 as n°78

A card of C.T. LOO & Cie has an ink script on the reverse: "1 montagne en jade gris, K'ien Long (18ème)"
A fine grey shist head of a bodhisattva, Gandhara, Kushan period, 2nd century
Krishna and goswami, probably a folio of the Shangri Ramayana, gouache on paper, India, Malwa, early 17th century (or Kulu, ca 1720), 28x18 cm (painting)

Archer's attribution of this corpus to Kulu has been questioned by Goswamy & Fischer (Pahari Masters, Zurich, 2009, pp. 88-90) , who think that it was probably painted in Bahu (Jammu)
Todi Ragini, gouache on paper, India, Oudh, 27,5x19 cm (painting) 
A very fine shamshir (curved sword), ottoman Empire, dated AH 1274 (AD 1857-8), l. 96 cm
A pair of huanghuali fangdeng stools, China, late Ming or Qing dynasty, 52x62x62 cm
Provenance: Carpenter collection, Switzerland
A pair of coral-ground gilt-decorated quatrefoil porcelain planters, Shende Tang zhi marks, China, probably late Qing dynasty, 21 cm diameter 

Provenance: important Swiss patrician family, received as a gift during a diplomatic mission in China, ca 1920, by the grandfather of the actual owner 
A huanghuali hua'an painting table, China, 17th century, 80x160 cm 
Provenance: Carpenter collection, Switzerland
2 portraits of high officials, gouache on textile, Korea, 31x27 cm and 35x28 cm (paintings)

A unique early 17th century Japanese clock driven celestial sphere, Edo, Tokugawa Shogunate, consisting of two copper hemispheres meeting on the ecliptic as a belt of small slots gilded with the 24 solar seasons, the surface chased with cloud-like patterns, gilded characters and hexagrams with pierced decoration revealing a box inside with a map representing the earth, on the internal ring the sun and the moon sit on smaller toothed rings to rotate and be positioned according to the solar season, the axis supported by an external frame holding the verger, foliate and crown wheel escapement enabling the sphere to rotate once daily following the apparent motion of the heavens, the stand of hexagonal form, h. 65 cm

Provenance: The Givaudan collection, Geneva

Brothers Xavier and Léon Givaudan were industrialists that had seen great success at the turn of the 20th century with the production of synthetic perfumes, soaps and chemicals. Assisted by some of the best art dealers of the time, the brothers took great pleasure in acquiring unusual and interesting works of art and important paintings. According to the family, the sphere was purchased by Léon Givaudan during the 1930s in Paris from Galerie Moreau-Gobard, an Asian art gallery. Having bought Bessinge Chateau in Cologny, Switzerland in 1938, the sphere was displayed in this beautiful home overlooking the city of Geneva and the lake.

The sphere was made in Japan during the first half of the 17th century by Japanese craftsmen and a clockmaker who had been advised on the East Asian astronomical tradition. This model seems to be the sole surviving example of its kind in the world. It was created to represent the movement of the heavens with the positions of the sun, moon and stars as seen from the observer on earth. The configuration of the sphere suggests that it was designed to be used at the latitude of Edo 江戶 (modern Tokyo), which was the capital of the Tokugawa shoguns who effectively ruled Japan from around 1600. The  calculation of the latitude of the sphere corresponds to Edo at 35.6° N. The metallurgical testing on the sphere provided results that are consistent with a Japanese origin, from the first half of the 17th century.
Made of unalloyed copper, the two hemispheres were formed by hammering out two ingots until they were 2-3 mm thick. The outer surfaces are chased with curved lines to create cloud-like figures. The gilt ornamentation and characters were achieved by ‘fire gilding’ with a gold-mercury amalgam. The two hemispheres fit together with a slight overlap and are held together with screws to create a sphere of approximately 115 cm in circumference and 37 cm in diameter. One half corresponds to positions of the sun in the heavens in early winter, midwinter, spring and early summer. The other half corresponds to positions of the sun from early summer through midsummer to autumn and early winter.
Along the ecliptic (fig. 1) is a belt of 365 small rectangular slots representing the annual path of the sun from west to east against the background of the stars as seen from a terrestrial observer. As the solar cycle is measured from one winter solstice to the next in East Asia, the ecliptic is marked with the 24 equal periods of time. Known in Chinese as qi 氣, the name of each solar season consists of two characters. These are gilded on the sphere at intervals below the belt of slots along the ecliptic to represent 15 or 16 days in duration.

The surface is also gilded with six parallel circular bands running on a plane at right angles to the sphere’s axis of rotation. Two of the bands can be identified as the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn. The north polar region (fig. 2) of the sphere is gilded with a circular zone of bands marked with the names of the 64 hexagrams. These are the basis of an ancient Chinese divinatory system set out in a text known as the ‘Book of Change’ Yi jing 易經. The hexagrams became the basis of an elaborate cosmological system through which all possible entities and processes were in theory correlated with a hexagram.
The lay out on the sphere is a version commonly known as the Fu Xi 伏羲. The south polar region (fig. 3) represents 100 equal ke 刻 marked as pierced holes into which a complete cycle of day and night can be divided. Six characters out of the possible twelve cyclical characters of shi 時 ‘double hours’ are present on the sphere in the form of gilded pins. Inside the sphere The surface of the sphere has been cut with decorative openwork to observe the internal features. The gilded copper box (fig. 4) visible on the inside represents the earth and remains fixed during the rotation of the sphere. It is square in horizontal section of 17.3x17.3 cm with a depth of 5.8 cm. The upper surface of the box has a map cast onto it showing Asia, Europe and Africa and represents the horizon of the observer. The names of the countries marked were taken from versions of western cartography created in East Asia by the Jesuits from the mid 16th century. They read as follows:
日本 Riben (Japan), 大明 Da Ming (China), 狗国 Gouguo (Eastern Siberia), 達旦 Dada (Tartary), 亞細亞 Yaxia (Asia), 天竺 Tianzhu (India), 歐羅巴 Ouluoba (Europe) and 利未亞 Liweiya (Libya/Africa). The Chinese encyclopaedia ‘The complete illustrated cosmos’ Sancai tuhui 三才圖會 published in 1607 shows most of the names on this earth model.

The belt of slots marking the ecliptic bears two sets of annotations on the inside (fig. 5). The principal annotations are the names of the twenty-eight xiu 宿 ‘lodges’ into which the circuit of the heavens has been divided up. One slot in the belt represents in time terms one day spent in that particular lodge by the sun, or in angular terms, one du 度 of the sun’s motion from west to east. The number of du for each of the 28 lodges is listed in the Triple Concordance astronomical system San tong li 三統曆, compiled around 10 CE. Further annotations are the names of the twelve ci 次 ‘stations’ (often called Jupitor stations) and the ‘Nine Roads’ jiu dao 九道 anciently associated with the moon. These are depicted by two gilded bands each carrying the name of one colour; black hei 黑, red chi 赤, white bai 白 and blue qing 青.
Along with the ecliptic, these make up the Nine Roads representing the shifting lunar path. A system of three rings (fig. 6) is mounted on the inside just above the ecliptic. Two of these rings carry small spheres representing the sun and moon. The gilded sun (fig. 7) is roughly level with the ecliptic belt of slots and the ring upon which it sits can be rotated and positioned to correspond with the season. The model of the moon (fig. 8) has one blackened hemisphere and is fixed onto a small, toothed wheel. This turns about an axle fixed onto the moon ring. On the rotation of the cog wheel, the moon simulates the phases of the moon as it would appear an observer on the inside. The sphere’s rotation was powered by a clock drive controlled by a simple ‘verge and foliate’ escapement (fig. 9). The movement is mounted externally as part of the axis support frame, joining the hexagonal base plinth. The sphere would have been displayed on a stand to allow the weights to hang from the drum wheel with a sufficient drop.
Piguet Auction House would like to thank Professor Christopher Cullen for his extensive research, culminating in his comprehensive report “The Geneva sphere: Its nature, purpose and origin”. His full 69 page report (from which the above information is extracted) together with the 39 pages of metallurgical analysis are available for consultation at the sale viewing only.
Mary of Magdala in the wilderness, opaque gouache with gold highlights on wasli paper, Mughal school 
A pale jade marriage cup of bixi, China, Qing dynasty, approx. 20 cm long

For similar cups, see Bonham's, Hong Kong, 24 November 2012, lot n°214, Christe's, Paris, 12 June 2012, lot n°203 and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. 02.18.600 
A very fine and rare rhinoceros horn libation cup,  probably Qianlong period
A silver vase, China, 20th century, 68,5 cm high 

A wood covered in paper keshô bako, Japan, Momoyama period, late 17th century, 28x23 cm

A lacquered and gilt wood figure of a standing Luohan, China, probably late Ming - early Qing dynasty, 105 cm high 
A pale nephrite or serpentine jade carving representing peaches, bats and flowering branches, China, 14.5 cm long

Provenance: Brigitte Mavromichalis collection

Similar sculptures were sold at: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 28 November 2018, lot n° 769; Bonhams, San Francisco, 23 June 2015, lot n° 7047; Sotheby's, London, 14 May 2014, lot n° 367

A pale nephrite jade covered bowl, China, lid decorated with two dragons, 11 cm diameter

Provenance: Brigitte Mavromichalis collection

A square pale nephrite jade seal, China, grip in the form of a dragon and flaming pearl in clouds, inscription 八徵耄念之寶 (Bazheng mao nian zhi bao), 5x5 cm (seal), 6.5 cm high. Various seals with a similar  inscription were made over the years 1789 to 1795 to celebrate the eightieth birthday of the Qianlong Emperor (1790)

Provenance: Brigitte Mavromichalis collection

A similar seal, dated to Qianlong, was sold at Sotheby's, 9 October 2007, lot n° 1303. Another, also dated to Qianlong, was sold at Christie's, Hong Kong, 26 April 2004, lot n°1012.

Durga, copper sculpture, Himalaya, 19th-20th century, with 4 arms, holding lotus flower, bow/arrow and trident, trampling Shiva, 23 cm high
御書心經 (Yushu Xinjing, "Written by the Emperor: The Sutra of the Heart of Great Wisdom"), collection of six pale celadon jade plates, China, silk plates decorated with flower scrolls on a yellow background, jade plates finely incised then gilded on both sides, framed by yellow silk, the collection beginning with an engraving of Guanyin holding the lustral water vase and a willow branch, followed by the sutra and ending with the guardian Weituo, seal 乾隆宸翰 (Qianlong Chen Han, "Written by Emperor Qianlong"), date 乾隆癸酉上元 (Qianlong guiyou shangyuan, corresponding to the year 1753 during the Lantern Festival), seal 蓮華室 (Lianhua shi, "Lotus Studio") or 荑蕘堂 (Tirao tang, "Tirao office"), 16x7.5 cm (jade plates, on view), 20.5x10.5 cm (collection). The Qianlong emperor was renowned, among other things, for his great artistic culture, his taste for jade objects and his devotion to Buddhism. During his reign, the emperor piously copied numerous sutras. Some of them were then engraved on jade plates by craftsmen, who copied the emperor's handwriting.

Provenance: Brigitte Mavromichalis collection 

Similar works featuring a sutra, dated Qianlong, were sold at: Sotheby's Paris, June 12, 2013, lot 182; Sotheby's, Hong Kong, October 9, 2007, lot 1332; Sotheby's Hong Kong, May 2, 2005, lot 523; Sotheby's, Hong Kong, October 31, 2004, lot 6. Another piece, probably dating from the 18th century, is in the Chester Beatty, Dublin, inv. n°C 1002.

An album embroidered on silk, dated Qianlong, showing the same sûtra and the same deities, bearing the date of the New Year in 1753 and the same seals as our work, is in the Imperial Palace Museum, Beijing, inv. no. 00072915. The calligraphy is also very similar 

御制青白玉心經(般若波羅蜜多心經)玉冊 錦繡書衣簽題: 御書心經 共六片長方形雙面行書填金(描金)玉版 每頁玉版以黃絹鑲邊 首頁玉片:觀音菩薩像,手持水瓶和柳枝,末頁: 護法韋馱尊天菩薩 書寫日期: 乾隆癸酉上元 *1753 
印: 乾隆宸翰,荑蕘堂還是蓮華室
御製十六羅漢贊 (Yuzhi Shiliu Luohan Zan, "Work or commission from the Emperor: Praise of the Sixteen Luohan"), a set of 10 green jade plaques with their inlaid wooden box, China, each rectangular plaque finely incised, gilded and silvered on both sides, the first plaque bearing the framed title flanked by two five-clawed dragons in the clouds above the primordial waves, the back of the same plate adorned with a six-armed deity seated on a lotus, probably Guanyin, the following plates each adorned on one side with a Luohan accompanied by a text, each Luohan represented in a different way, the last plate showing a celestial guardian on one side, clouds on the other, 13.5x7.5 cm (plaques). The plaques are accompanied by a wooden box with silver and possibly gold inlays, bearing the title surrounded by bajixiang (八吉祥, Eight Buddhist Symbols) as well as a wan and the character shou (longevity), 16.5x10x8 cm (restorations on box; detached parts). 

Provenance: Brigitte Mavromichalis collection 

A similar book-mounted set, dated Qianlong, sold at Christie's New York, September 19, 2007, lot 81. Another, also dated Qianlong, sold at Sotheby's, New York, September 22, 2004, lot no. 53. Another, dated Qianlong/Jiaqing, was sold at Christie's, Hong Kong, October 29, 2011, lot 516. Another, dated late 18th - early 19th century, was also sold at Christie's, New York, June 28, 2006, lot 19. A book illustrating the same subject, dating from the late 18th century, is held at the Chester Beatty, Dublin, inv. n°C 1007.

首頁玉片: 雙龍雲紋,中間題簽「御製十六羅漢贊」; 末頁玉片:護法韋馱尊天菩薩
木製書盒, 金銀雕飾八寶吉祥和蝙蝠圖案, 卍和壽字。