Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions is gearing up for their Chinese Ceramics and Asian Works of Art event this month on May 17 in their London saleroom. The event will feature an expansive collection of Tibetan art and Asian textiles, with the star of the show being a very rare 17th century transitional hanging from the Ming/Qing dynasty.
The Ming/Qing dynasty wall hanging (lot 100), which would have originally been hung in a Buddhist Tibetan temple, measures at 222cm wide (about 7.2 feet) and 366cm high (12 feet) and features a central velvet Imperial panel. The type of adornment would have been sent as a diplomatic gift from China, along with fine silk garments, to form a special ensemble. Aristocrats also donated textiles to monasteries as a showing of devotion, and the monks were the ones to create the bed hangings and covers that were produced for the Western market in the 17th century. This specific piece is framed with brocade, has outer borders made using dragon panels that were woven using the Kesi (cut silk) method, and includes parts of a late Ming period costume. It is estimated to sell for £12,000 to £18,000 (around $20,332 to $30,499).
A series of scroll paintings (lot 133) on cotton or silk, called Thangkas, will be up for auction and are estimated at £8,000 – £12,000 ($13,555 – $20,332). A rare Sino-Tibetan example from the 19th century, the paintings feature the hand impressions and seal of the Lama. Also picture are the important figures of the 11-headed Avalokiteśvara, Manjusri, and the Vajrapani, surrounded by musicians and Vajshravana.
Another notable lot up for bidding is a 14-15th century gilt bronze figure of the Shakyamuni Buddha in the bhumisparsamudra ("enlightenment") pose. This specific Buddha (lot 117) is the one on which the Buddhist religion is founded and is expected to bring in £4,000 – £6,000 ($6,777 – $10,166). A second figure (lot 118) is an "unusual Sino-Tibetan 18th century cast silver and repousse’ metalwork sculpture of Jambhala the Tibetan wealth deity, and an emanation of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva (enlightened being) of Compassion." Made in his white manifestation, the figure is meant to be using compassion to remove poverty and sickness from others, and has the same estimate price as above.
The auction also includes textiles, official garments, a rare collection of children's shoes and hats, and a collection of four 19th century Chinese silk embroidered shoes. The sale will be on view at Bloomsbury House in London a week before the auction, with online bidding and no additional premium on their official site.