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天价鸡缸杯将现身苏富比春拍

2014-04-09    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Among the deep-pocketed collectors of Chinese antique ceramics, few pieces arouse as much excitement as the small Ming dynasty-era bowls commonly known as the 'chicken cups.'
在中国古代瓷器收藏圈里,鲜有藏品能够像明成化“鸡缸杯”(chicken cup)那样引得一众富豪收藏家趋之若鹜。

The bowls, small enough to be held comfortably in the palm of the hand, were created between 1465 and 1487 and are named for the chickens painted on their sides. Only 19 are known to exist, and of those just four are in private hands, with the rest in museum collections.
鸡缸杯不足一掌大小,烧制于明代成化时期(公元1465至1487年),因其杯壁上画有公鸡母鸡,故称鸡缸杯。现存于世的鸡缸杯只有19只,其中四只在私人藏家手中,其余均被博物馆收藏。

But one of those four will be going up for sale on April 8 at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong and is estimated to fetch as much as US$38.5 million.
但这四只鸡缸杯中将有一只现身4月8日的香港苏富比(Sotheby)拍卖会,估价高达3,850万美元。

Part of the Meiyintang collection owned by Switzerland's Zuellig family, this same bowl was also the last chicken cup to go up for auction, in 1999. At a Sotheby's sale in Hong Kong, it brought US$3.7 million -- at the time, a record for a Chinese porcelain.
这只明成化斗彩鸡缸杯是瑞士裕利(Zuellig)家族“玫茵堂”(Meiyintang)的藏品,1999年最后一次现身拍卖会的鸡缸杯也正是这一只。在当年的香港苏富比拍卖会上,这只鸡缸杯拍出了370万美元的天价,刷新中国瓷器世界拍卖纪录。

Prices for Chinese ceramics have skyrocketed since, but reverence for these cups has remained constant since imperial times. Several works of Chinese literature reference the chicken cups, often describing how emperors and nobles spent fortunes to obtain them in the 17th century.
此后中国瓷器价格一路飙高,但鸡缸杯的尊贵地位自帝王时代以来从未被动摇。几部中国文学作品曾经提到过鸡缸杯,均是描写17世纪的皇帝和贵族如何散尽千金,就为得到这样一只小小的杯子。

'This is the crowning glory for collectors,' said Nicholas Chow, Sotheby's expert in Chinese ceramics. But what makes this one so valuable? He explains:
苏富比的中国瓷器专家仇国仕(Nicholas Chow)说,对于藏友来说,拥有一只鸡缸杯是至高无上的荣耀。至于鸡缸杯为何价值连城,他给出了如下解释:

Chenghua porcelains: The wares from this 15th-century period, known as the Chenghua era after the Ming dynasty emperor who ruled at the time, are regarded as 'the peak in material refinement,' according to Mr. Chow. The imperial kilns of the period exercised strict quality control, and he likens Chenghua porcelains to silk. 'It's very sensuous -- the only porcelain you can tell blind,' he said.
成化瓷:据仇国仕介绍,烧制于15世纪明代成化年间的成化瓷被视为制瓷艺术的顶峰。当时的官窑产品质量极其讲究,仇国仕将其比作丝绸。他说,成化瓷的手感很特别,是唯一闭着眼睛都能摸出来的瓷器品种。

Emperors love chickens: The painting is a naive, almost childish, color depiction of a rooster and a hen taking care of a young chick -- a parable for Confucian virtues that extend to an emperor's looking after his subjects. The simplicity is what makes this cup so desirable, said Mr. Chow, and the artist's 'impressionistic' style is atypical for that time.
帝王锺爱“鸡”:这只鸡缸杯上所绘的是一只公鸡和一只母鸡带着一只小鸡的场景,色彩缤纷鲜明,画风率真可人,寓意帝王善待子民的儒家思想。仇国仕说,风格质 正是这只杯子如此受人喜爱的原因,这种写意画风是当时主要的艺术风格形式。

Fakes abound: Mr. Chow said the chicken cups are the most-copied bowls in China, and even the Chenghua examples in museums have aroused suspicion. In a Sotheby's catalog essay about next week's chicken-cup sale, ceramics expert Regina Krahl wrote that former Sotheby's Chairman Julian Thompson contested that the two examples at the Palace Museum in Beijing are fakes. (The museum declared in an official 1999 catalog that they are authentic.) Today, antique markets in China offer imitations for as little as a few yuan apiece. 'It's like hanging a copy of the Mona Lisa,' Mr. Chow said. 'Everybody's heard of the chicken cup.'
仿品众多:仇国仕说,鸡缸杯是中国被仿制最多的瓷器,甚至博物馆里的一些藏品也被怀疑是后朝仿品。在下周苏富比的拍卖目录介绍中,瓷器专家康蕊君(Regina Krahl)写道,苏富比前董事长朱汤生(Julian Thompson)曾表示北京故宫博物院收藏的两只明成化斗彩鸡缸杯是后朝仿品。(故宫博物院在1999年的官方藏品目录中称它们是真品。)如今,在中国的古玩市场上,花几块钱就能买到一只鸡缸杯的仿品。仇国仕说,它就像是到处可见的“蒙娜丽莎”仿品,人人都听说过鸡缸杯。



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