Amin Jaffer, black tixi lacquer saddle, Central Asia, Chinese collector, Chinese lacquers, Christie's, horses, KT Lee, leather-bound wooden seat, Ming dynasty, Sammy Lee, Song, The Important Chinese Lacquer from the Lee Family Collection, Tixi lacquer, Yuan
A testament to the expertise of Chinese collector KT Lee, who followed in the footsteps of his father, Sammy Lee, The Important Chinese Lacquer from the Lee Family Collection is regarded as the finest group of Chinese lacquers from the Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties.
The quality of the Collection is exemplified by this extremely rare, black tixi lacquer saddle from the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368). Tixi lacquer is composed of layered black and red lacquer that is carved at a 45 degree angle with a knife, to reveal the contrasting colours.
This saddle is a tangible reminder of the importance of horses to the Yuan dynasty, whose origins lay in Central Asia. Saddles made in precious materials like lacquer were reserved for the elite and stood as the ultimate symbols of status and wealth. The quality of the detailed ornamentation carved into this saddle is superlative and would have required a considerable amount of time and expertise to make, suggesting that its original owner enjoyed sophisticated tastes as well as a high social rank.
Composed of a leather-bound wooden seat and wooden trimmings covered in black tixi lacquer, no other example of its kind is believed to have survived.
Christie’s auction of Chinese Lacquer From The Lee Family Collection, Part III was held in Hong Kong on November 28, 2012. For further information, please visit http://www.christies.com.
First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on January 6, 2013.