Blue and White 'Romance of the Western Chamber' Dish
Romance of the Western Chamber was written by the Yuan dynasty playwright Wang Shifu (ca. 1260–1336), and set during the Tang dynasty. The original story was first told in a Chinese short story written by Yuan Zhen during the Tang Dynasty entitled 'The Story of Yingying', or 'Yingying's Biography'.
It tells the story of a secret love between Zhang Sheng, a young scholar, and Cui Yingying, the daughter of a chief minister of the Tang court. Though the play is based on Yuan Zhen’s story, the ending has been altered to resolve happily in marriage, where the original short story ends with Zhang Sheng and Cui Yingying parting ways.
The dish offered in our 7 November Fine Asian Works of Art auction shows Cui Yingying standing in a pavilion looking into a garden. She is holding the love letter she has written for Zhang Sheng with a two-line poetic couplet inscription from the novel.
'Generals of the Yang Family' Baluster Vases and Covers
The narrative scene illustrated on the pair of large Canton enamel baluster vases & covers offered in our London Fine Asian Works of Art auction is inspired by "The Generals of the Yang Family", a collection of Chinese plays & novels on a military family from the earlier years of the Song Dynasty (960–1279). The vases are painted with a continuous narrative scene depicting ten female warriors mounted on horseback in the courtyard of a large villa, watched by three gentlemen on a balcony
The Yangs were known for their remarkable bravery as they defended their country from invading foreign powers, namely the Khitan-ruled Liao Dynasty (907–1125) & Tangut-ruled Western Xia (1038–1227). After most of the men had been slaughtered by the invaders, the women of the Yang family took up arms to fight against the enemy & proved that they were not inferior to their male counterparts.
Dates for your Diary
LONDON VIEWING | Sun 04 November, 12 noon to 5pm | Mon 05 November, 10.00am to 7pm | Tues 06 November, 10.00am to 5pm | Day of sale from 10am to 3pm
AUCTION | Fine Asian Works of Art | 07 November 2018 | 4pm in London
LOCATION | The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London, W1U 5AS