Chinese gilt bronze head to make $35,000?

An ancient Chinese gilt-bronze head will lead a sale of Asian, Ancient and Ethnographic works at Lark Mason Associates on October 1-15 with a $25,000-35,000 estimate.

The head dates from the Yuan/Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and is likely to depict the Daoist figure Mazu, the guardian of the sea, a popular deity prayed to by diplomats, fishermen and sailors. The head is notable for its craftsmanship and early date.

Mazu head Lark Mason
The head most likely represents the Daoist immortal Mazu

A 17th century carved rhinoceros horn libation cup featuring intricate carvings of Daoist immortals is another highlight, and carries an estimate of $15,000-25,000.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, rhinoceros cups were often given as gifts among members of the Chinese aristocracy. The carved immortals are shown in the throes of birthday celebrations, and were intended to wish the recipient a long life.

A Chinese porcelain famille rose bowl carries an estimate of $15,000-25,000. It is decorated with various fruits, including pomegranate and lychee - symbols of prosperity and fertility in ancient China.     

Lark Mason commented: "This is a very large and comprehensive sale with a diverse range of objects - from ancient Chinese tomb pottery to over 200 Japanese swords dating from the 16th to 20th centuries from a private Texas collector.

"The material is fresh to the market and the estimates are low, which enable Asian art collectors and enthusiasts to buy at accessible prices."

Asian art has been very much on the agenda in recent weeks, with the Asia Week sales in New York offering an abundance of works of art from China, including this Zuo Bao Yi Gu vessel.

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