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08 November 2016, 17:00 GMT
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Lot 260: ANONYMOUS (LATE QING DYNASTY) SIX ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE STRANGE TALES OF LIAOZHAI (LIAOZHAI TUSHUO) 43.5cm high, 33.5cm wide (sight)(86 views)
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(Enter more than £9,000)
Estimate: £10,000 - £20,000
ANONYMOUS (LATE QING DYNASTY)
SIX ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE STRANGE TALES OF LIAOZHAI (LIAOZHAI TUSHUO)
comprising six leaves, each framed and glazed on both sides, ink and colour on paper, with gilt highlights, illustrating the stories of Lu Yaguan, Bird Whisperer (Niao Yu), Luo Zu, Jin Yongnian, Dragon and Spider (Long Xi Zhu) and Yu Qu'e (6)
43.5cm high, 33.5cm wide (sight)
Formerly in the collection of Brenda Cleather (1905-2011); thence by descent. Brenda acquired the paintings from an antique dealer on Connaught Street, London, in 1940 or 1941. The dealer was closing down his business because of the bombing of London during the Blitz and was keen to clear his stock. Brenda worked as a Studio Manager for the BBC European Service and was therefore required to remain in London for the duration of the war. Before the war, Brenda had been an actress, performing under the name 'Brenda Gordon Cleather' in productions of the Thorndike/Casson company, in the West End and on Broadway, with the likes of Laurence Olivier and Jack Hawkins.
Painting the Strange
Pu Songling (1614-1715) is one of the most colourful and eccentric figures of Chinese literature. Sitting his first Imperial examination at the age 18, Pu failed to become a civil official numerous times, until the age of 67 when he was finally awarded the Gongsheng degree, reputedly only because the examiner was fond of his books.
Strange Tales from Liaozhai Studio (Chinese: Liao Zhai Zhi Yi) - Pu's masterpiece - consists of 674 short stories. Legend has it that Pu used to set up a tea stand at the roadside, stopping travellers and asking them to share bizarre anecdotes. If their tales featured the supernatural, Pu would give them a bowl of porridge. Pu compiled these tales over 30 years into one of China's favourite short story collections. So beloved are they, that the merchant Xu Run commissioned their illustrations as a gift for Empress Cixi's birthday in 1894. Various artists collaborated, creating 48 albums containing 725 paintings, of which 46 albums are now held in The National Museum of China after they went missing during the wars.
The present set of six paintings demonstrate exceptional craftsmanship, delicate outlining and colouring, and meticulous gilt highlights, and are accompanied by calligraphy on the reverse. One noteworthy painting illustrates the story of Jin Yongnian, the fair merchant whose elderly wife is blessed with a child at the age of seventy-eight as a reward for Jin's virtue.
ANTIQUES, PAINTINGS & WORKS OF ART
Telephone: 0131 556 6226
44/46 Morningside Road
Edinburgh, EH10 4BF
FURNITURE, PAINTINGS & WORKS OF ART
Aardvark Art Services Ltd
01253 794 673
PAINTINGS & WORKS OF ART
Gallery Support Group
Unit 4, 89 Manor Farm Road
London HA0 1BA
Tel:+ 44 (0) 20 305 307 53
FURNITURE & WORKS OF ART
Constantine Moving Services
01236 430 681
North Caldeen Road
Coatbridge, ML5 4EF
FURNITURE & WORKS OF ART
A Van Man Transport
01202 600 012
Unit 5, Benridge Park
Holyrood Close, Creekmoor
Poole, Dorset, BH17 7BD
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