Bronze and metal objects were laid to rest with any important dead since the time of their invention, from personal rings to chariots complete with teams of horses, it perhaps is the durability of metal which led people to do such- for they thought it would last, and it did. At least until it was exhumed and subsequently sold without provenance and people didn’t even take care of it because they didn’t realize how truly priceless it really was.

Like these bronze sets in gilded silver that have apparently came directly from someone’s tomb, dispersed to numerous dealers and sold in an international marketplace without provenance, if you don’t truly care about your country and what you have, you lose it.

Most of these items have writing on them which should indicate at least whom it was made by, if not who it was made for, and subsequently whose grave was robbed. Measurements are typically given in inches for height only.

Fish:

This vase- that is a four eyed fish? or a siamese- twin fish?- also has the greatest scene of hieroglyphs on it, as well as a very, very early rendition of the animal zodiac priests.

fishvaseac

Another rendition of a hieroglyphic fish vessel with different metal, but a similar technique of silver gilding. Of ancient Egypt itself these may speak of, and ancient shared roots of culture and civilization- all sold for a couple hundred dollars- and any information they have tossed to the winds.

fishvaseba

  • Buy It Now page (was $202.50, price reduced to $180.00 by 09/2016; price raised to $191.25 by 12/2016) by 8hk4428
  • Buy It Now page (was $850.50, price reduced to $756.00 by 09/2016): listing ended 11/30/2016 because it was “no longer available” by 8hk4428

Above is a vessel depicting one fish, and below a vessel depicting two that may have came from the same tomb. A pair of fish (shang yu 双鱼), represents happiness in marriage in China today, though it is unclear whether these vessels have much to do with marriage since they were specifically made as grave goods. The vessels with hieroglyphs are possibly part of an older set and represent the union between two cultures or societies- such as Egyptians and proto-Chinese people, but this is highly speculative and more research is obviously needed.  

  • Buy It Now page (was $863.10, price reduced to $767.20 by 09/2016): listing ended 11/30/2016 because it was “no longer available” by 8hk4428

Birds:

birdonplatterba

birdbathaa

birdlookingbackaa

duckcb

duckea

duckda

 

censerba

Though not a full-fledged bird above- nor even an animal at all, see what this three footed incense burner/ lamp? evolves into below.

birdcensersac

birdcensersba

phoenixplaqueaa

duckpotaa

birdaa

birdba

Slightly different version of the previous bird, see the variation in beaks in particular. These appear to be moas to me, a flightless bird from New Zealand that perhaps had magical qualities to them since they were from far off lands and lacked the ability to fly, but probably tasted so good. The sort of stuff kings and emperors dream of.

Dogs:

fudogbb

fudogca

The animal below is most often referred to as a pixiu, however, its origins are probably canine in nature, especially since it was caught defecating on the floor. From Wikipedia: “The myth of Pixiu tells that the creature violated a law of heaven by defecating on the floor, so the Jade Emperor punished it by restricting the Pixiu’s diet to gold and sealing its anus. Thus, pixiu can only absorb gold, but cannot expel it. This is the origin of Pixiu’s status as a symbol of the acquisition and preservation of wealth.” Pixiu’s are often represented as winged- please see the “Mythological Creatures” section below for more examples of these.

beastaa

Lions and Tigers:

lionba

Tiger pouncing on a deer above.

A tiger or lion which appears to be eating a four footed bird with scales above, and a pair of lions with a boar below. The artist may not have been very familiar with lions when they created this sculpture, giving them some characteristics more like rats with elongated noses and tails with sections.

Yet another rat-like cat below riding a duck; which could turn out to be a rat, not sure- however it is strange it has two breasts instead of the customary 8 like most mammal animals:

Sheep, Goats and Lambs:

sheepfa

sheepvesselaa

sheepga

sheepea

sheepda

goataa

Elephants:

elephantca

Pigs:

pigaa

pigba

pigcensoraa

Rhinoceroses:

rhinoaa

rhinoca

rhinoba

rhinoda

Cattle, Oxen, and possibly Yak:

oxoa

oxqb

oxfa

oxma

oxia

oxla

oxga

oxka

oxsa

oxra

oxha

oxja

oxongourdba

Ox standing on a gourd. From the holes it appears to be missing a part or two.

Camels:

Only for the last 3,000 years have camels been domesticated, and serves to date the bronzes as well as indicate the region- Northern China and the ancient Silk Road- that they were made in.

camelea

camellampab

cameldb

camelaa

The sellers often do elude to the fact these may be from royalty and emperors, like the title of this pair of 30″ braying camels “China Dynasty Palace Pure Bronze Silver-Gilt Royal Desert Ship Camel Statue Pair” but since so many Chinese are dishonest and don’t speak English well to begin with, this may not be taken seriously by any serious buyers.

43″ tall camel above. 3,000 years ago camels were domesticated for the task of carrying loads in deserts, relatively recently compared to other domesticated animals.

Deer:

deerca

deerdb

Horses:

horselampaa

horselampba

Gilded silver horse lamp with a frog on its back.

horseia

horseja

horsena

horsera

horsema

horseqa

horseua

horsesd

The horses above and the one below are very similar, the major difference being in the gilding, particularly on the neck.

horsepa

horseva

horseandflyab

horseonswallowba

The “galloping horse treading on flying swallow” is a classic in Chinese sculpture, and these is absolute masterpieces with the silver gilding. Though the design has been copied again and again, the most famous statue is from the Eastern Han dynasty (2,000 years ago) and was excavated from a general’s tomb in Gansu Province, SW China. Today Chinese artists still copy this iconic design of perfect balance and form.

The bird, though long thought of a swallow a bird-looking-back of some sort, and though I’ve found reference that scholar’s no longer think it is a swallow, I’m not sure what they concluded it was. The eagle captured long ago the hearts of men in central Asia and was one of his first animal friends who helped to hunt, along with dog, and the horse.

It is a special kind of horse that prances like this- a breed brought back from Uzbeckistan (Fergana) by an expedition of Emperor Han Wudi in 104 BCE. These horses were highly prized as marks of status and quite rare.

horseonswallowca

horseonswallowia

horseha

horseoa

horseandmanaa

horseandmanbc

 

chariotca

chariotda

chariotaa

Since there are four of these gilded chariots- three of them very different from each other- there must be at least three different very important tombs that are currently being sold off without provenance for a fraction of their real value.

  • 25″ Buy It Now page ($6,299.10): listing ended 05/21/2016, unclear if sold or? but then seller listed a different gilded chariot below- smaller- so it may have by 8hk4428

chariotea

Mythological Creatures:

 

wingedbeastab

unicornaa

This may be one of the world’s first unicorns pictured above.

footedbirdaa

footedbirdca

footedbirdba

dragondeerab

dragonga

The beast above is slightly different than the ones below, note the detail of the wings.

dragonda

dragonea

dragonka

dragonla

dragonic

dragonoc

beastsaa

dragonna

The beasts above go from 8″ tall to 16″ tall, while the ones below are over twice as large at 34″, or almost 3 feet or 1 meter tall. See the butt crack of the very young Chinese seller for scale.

dragonha

This seller states on each and every item they sell: “Welcome to my Ebay store! I come from China .and I am an article  collector ,I am very interested in our China’s 5,000 years of ancient civilization. My collection includes the China’s 56 nationalities. We are selling artwork and collectibles in Beijing ,China since 1998. But I am just join in selling ebay five years ago  , many of the items we sell come from our own personal collection and have been in our family for a very long time .My great grandfather was the first in this family to start collecting art & antiques when he still lived in San Xi and Tibet around 1929 ,some of the paintings he once collected can now be seen in museums around the globe. In my store, main products includes Nepal Tibet Buddhist Statue,Buddhist temple supplies,Royal Palace Handmade Chinese Cloisonne,Jingdezhen Porcelain,Royal Feng Shui Town House Animal Statue, and other Pure Folk Handicrafts,such as handmade jade carving,wood carving,bronze ware,European bronze statue and western artistic culture collection,etc.. I will try my best to offer them for every friend and welcome to join the competition and confidence order !.

It is possible they were given the Emperor’s things because his family were already antique dealers, however to say that these are just “collected” antiques from around China is an outright lie when they were distributed to them by the government itself.

dragonca

  • Buy It Now page ($99.00): purchased by author in 2016- except never delivered, supposedly “broken” and refunded $99 by 8hk4428 There have been several items that were undelivered like this (and/or damaged) and I suspect they just didn’t like the fact it was going to a white-Filipino and didn’t want to send it.

dragonburneraa

This statue is a both a dragon and a phoenix as would have functioned as a lamp. The lamp below is almost the same with slight differences in silver gilding, but looks like it was pulled directly from the Emperor’s storehouses or grave without a cleaning.

dragonphoenixba

Statues of People:

personlampca

censercarriersaa

To be sure these were not fakes I purchased a gilded bronze woman who they had several copies of. Her arm is above her head in an act of dancing I believe. When I received it the styrofoam on the inside had become discolored with the dirt that was on it, and a rock fell out of her arm even. When I commented about this and tried to get more information from the seller about where it came from, they just played dumb and said, “Oh, its real?”

longarmedladydancingaeboughtonf

The “dancing woman” above may be a representation of someone in the tomb that was robbed, and could also be Queen Mother of the West, a greatly revered female character of the Chinese pantheon of deities for centuries, or even Guanyin (Kwanyin)- though this statue perhaps predates her by perhaps 1,000 years. Below is also another representation of an important matriarch, which may or may not be the same person. The statue above is possibly older and part of a different burial set.

Musicians accompany any Chinese grave and the woman musician below may be either part of a band, or she may also be a representation of one of the dead playing her favorite instrument of choice.

womandd

A complete band of funeral musicians, meant to accompany the dead and delight their senses even in the afterlife, and considered an essential part of high living.

musiciansaa

manmusicianad

The Chinese zither or guzheng is being played by the man above. The guzheng is one of the oldest plucked stringed instruments dating back more than 2500 years. Today this instrument is still hugely popular in China, and considered as sign of being cultured if you can play it well.

kneelingmanba

These figures, the kneeling man above that is also two faced and the three Buddhist sculptures below gives an idea of the time span these must have been made in, with hundreds if not thousands of years in between. The symbol on the kneeling man’s forehead is an early tilaka mark which was originally in the form of flowers or ferns, which later became just a spot on the forehead- a bindi mark- worn by millions of faithful devotees of Hinduism and other ancient religions even today. The fact that this was found in an ancient Chinese tomb casts shadow on the Indian origins of such marks, and/or indicates there was contact and the spread of ideas between the two cultures at a very early stage.

The gilding on the Buddhist statues is also much finer, and they were able to produce ever larger items as time went on, a testament to their increasing skill in metalwork.

3buddhaaa

guanyinba

Bells and Drums:

drummingwomanda

A statue very similar to these was found in Chengdu, Sichuan Province dating from the
Eastern Han Dynasty, 2nd century, but is made from pottery instead of these which would have taken far more work. They are storytellers.

storytellerChengduSichuanHanDynastyPotteryaa

Han Pottery Storyteller: On loan by the National Museum of China to the Tokyo National Museum in 2007, photo courtesy of Tokyo National Museum.

drummingwomanba

bellba

bellia

bellla

bellfa

The bell above- which almost matches the design of the previous bell- is 50″ tall.

bellea

The bell above is 60″ or 5 feet tall- almost as tall as most Chinese, and the bell below is even taller at 70″ or 75″ depending on which seller’s page you believe most, apparently it is the exact same bell though if you compare photos.

Masks & Other Ritual Objects:

incenseburneraa

Incense burners were a large part of everyday rituals, and were considered essential for the afterlife as well.

incenseburnerba

censeraa

censerca

maskaa

The stylized facial expression on the mask above and below with elongate ears, and eyes that bulge out is characteristic of the Sanxingdui Culture. This is thought to depict the very first king of their culture named Cancong, who ruled the kingdom of Shu more than 1,000 years before Christ.

This is one of the first organized societies in the world, built upon social hierarchy and controlling others. For the first time people didn’t just work for themselves, but worked together to produce things they couldn’t have alone. There are many ways to get people to work for you, one is to give them things they don’t already have, like metal- and that is the nice way. But then you have to keep them in line too. The objects above with the huge spike at the bottom may have been a “slave killer” or a special ritual knife used to cut out the hearts of victims and terrorize the living into submission and fealty. The person depicted on the top was probably a real ruler at the time.

Weapons and Armor:

The seller states this is a “general’s helmet”, however it could have been an emperor’s for all we know.

helmetda

Speartip that may have been used by the emperors imperial guards themselves.

swordaa

Though all these swords are supposedly for sale from completely different Ebay sellers, as you can see by the photographs, all of the backdrops are the same. Again and again I’ve seen this pattern of one Chinese seller posing as multiple shops, but selling the same goods from the exact same grave.

For it is not resource redistribution when you take everything many people have, and give it to very few, nor is it keeping with the spirit and ideology of communism. Its called being greedy and selfish. Also someone could have learned something, which is far more valuable than the pittance these priceless artifacts are being sold for.

swordba

57cmswordca

63cmswordab

 

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