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Lot 0240
This exquisitely carved earth spirit has the body of winged lion or dragon with peaceful and benevolent facial expression calling upward, elongated ears, and bearded chin in a conspicuously sphinx-like position reflecting the international influence from the Silk Route and trade, particularly during the Tang Dynasty, on Chinese art and funerary retinue. Stylized scrolls adorn haunches that merge into slender wings, and the torso has breasts with masks. The small rider on the spirit guide’s back has head raised looking forward. One of a collection of similar protective earth spirit chimeras, the funerary sculptures are being evaluated individually and collectively with this sculpture most likely from the Song Dynasty (960-1279 ce), but possibly dates as early as Sui or Tang Dynasties (589-618 or 618–907 ce), although elements also reflect sculpture of the Wei, a period of the Southern and Northern Dynasties (386-589 ce) . The large sculpture is approximately 7 inches tall, 10-3/4 inches long, and 2-5/8 inches wide at front plinth.


The sculpture is sound with no noted defects. The nephrite exhibits surface alteration from age and patina from professional restoration. From a private collection, this artifact is clean, however will be sold without further restoration (as is).

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Song Dynasty Jade Sphinx Earth Spirit Chimera

Auction ended on Sun, Oct 9, 2016
Estimate $148,000 - $208,000
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