Kangxi Statues of Manjushri and Yongzheng Ru-Type Vase Spark Intense Bidding Battles at Christie’s Paris

Christie’s Art d'Asie sale was held in Paris on 13 December, totalling €9,561,250. Among all lot offered, two works of art — Kangxi Statues of Manjushri and Yongzheng Ru-Type Vase — stirred up fervent interest from buyers and were both hammered down for prices far exceeding pre-sale estimates.

A pair of statues of Manjushri from Kangxi period was estimated at €5,000 - 7,000 but the opening bid was set at €30,000 given the strong interest expressed by collectors before the sale. Manjushri (Wenshu), the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, usually shown seated on a lion holding either a ruyi sceptre or a sword, is often associated with Samantabhadra (Puxian).

Undeterred by the rise in the opening bid, bidders were enthusiastic in offering bids and further pushed the price up to €100,000 in the blink of an eye. The statues attracted interest from bidders in the room, telephone bidders, as well as online bidders from Hong Kong. After receiving 25 bid increments, this pair of statues of Manjushri was hammered down for €260,000, 52 times its estimate. It was sold for €320,000 with buyer’s premium to a telephone bidder.

The pair of statues epitomizes delicate craftsmanship in every aspect, from its facial expression, movement, to the lion and elephant seated by Manjushri and Samantabhadra.  Both statues are both inscribed with the date of production.

A rare Ru-type vase, Hu, from the Yongzheng period was another highly-sought after lot at the sale. The bidding started at €200,000 and soon reached €500,000 after 12 bid increments. At this point, only a bidder in the room and a telephone bidder stayed in the bidding battle. The vase was hammered down for €700,000 and sold for €850,000 with buyer’s premium to the gentleman in the room.

The shape is in imitation of a Han Dynasty bronze hu vase, and archaic bronze vases of this type were available in the Imperial collections in the 18th century. Ru glazes have traditionally been much admired by Chinese connoisseurs, and were copied on porcelain as early as the 15th century. The base is inscribed with a six-character seal mark of the period in blue.


Rare Et Important Vase en Porcelaine a Glacure De Type Ru, Hu
Qing dynasty, Yongzheng period.

Lot no.: 70
Height: 59cm

  • Collection of Martine Marie Pol de Béhague, Comtesse de Béarn (1869-1939), Paris, and thence by descent to the present owner.

Estimate: €300,000 - 500,000
Hammer price: €700,000
Price realized: €847,500


Deux Rares Statues De Manjushri Et Samantabhadra en Bronze
Qing dynasty, Kangxi period.

Lot no.: 72
Height: 18cm

  • Collection of the late French diplomat Georges Dubail (1845-1932), acquired in China prior to 1906.

Estimate: €5,000 - 7,000
Hammer price: €260,000
Price realized: €319,500


Auction details

Auction house: Christie’s Paris
Sale: Art d'Asie
Auction date: 2017/12/13
Sale total: €9,561,250