Height: 44 1/4" Width: 41 1/2" A rare pair of large floor screens, each consisting of eight repoussed silver panels of Sixteen LuoHan and mounted as a table screen. All bordered by carved link chain and framed in hardwood frame stand, probably hongmu. China, Qing dynasty, late 18th/19th century.In repoussed reliefs, Buddhas sixteen disciples are depicted while sitting in a rocky landscape, as emaciated ascetics of foreign origin. This mode of representation, which expresses the Luohans hard struggle for spiritual ripeness and redemption, is modelled after stone engravings from the 18th century, which are in turn thought to have been inspired by the no longer preserved portraits of the Sixteen LuoHan executed by the painter Guanxiu (832912 A.D.). Each portrait is accompanied by an engraved title inscription in regular script (KaiShu), indicating the name and number of the depicted LuoHan in the series of the Sixteen, and by an engraved encomium illustrating his character. The LuoHan figures portrayed are 1. Angaja, 2. Ajita, 3. Vanavasin, 4. Kalika, 5. Vajriputra, 6. Bhadra, 7. Kanakavatsa, 8. Kanaka Bharadvaja, 9. Bakkula, 10. Rahula, 11. Chuda Panthaka, 12. Pindola Bharadvaja, 13. Panthaka, 14. Nagasena, 15. Gopaka and 16. Abheda. The silver panels are encased in a wooden frame. The frame is inserted in a carved stand made of hard wood. REFERENCES: A collection of fifteen jade books from the time of the Qing Dynasty currently preserved at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, consisting of engraved or painted jade plaques, most of which dating from the QianLong period, also contains a book with depictions of the Sixteen LuoHan, dated to the late 18th century. It consists of two volumes with overall twelve plaques, eight of which are mounted on brocade and depict the LuoHan, whilst the remaining four are set in bronze and serve as bindings. The names, order and iconography of the LuoHan figures match those on the silver plaques exactly, although they are painted rather than repoussed. The encomiastic poems are also the same, whereas the title inscriptions differ slightly in their wording (see William Watson: Chinese Jade Books in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin 1963, p. 3234 and ill. 7 and 8).In early Buddhism Arhat (LuoHan in Chinese) denotes a person who achieves enlightenment by being taught by a Buddha as well as by additional individual efforts and who after his death can leave the cycle of birth and rebirth. The Mahayana Buddhist tradition adopted the Arhat as guardians and apostles of the Buddhist doctrine, dharma, endowed with supernatural powers. Objects of worship in China were individual LuoHan figures, but also groups of ten, sixteen, eighteen or five-hundred LuoHan. The most popular were the Sixteen LuoHan, the cult of which goes back to the apocryphal Sutra Da LuoHan Nandimiduoluo Suo shuofazhuji (T. 2030), which was translated into Chinese in the mid-7th century. According to it, the moribund Buddha Shakyamuni entrusted them with the task of preserving and spreading the dharma and endowed them with supernatural powers that would allow them to live longer and hence preserve the dharma until the coming of Buddha Maitreya, after which they would finally enter nirvana (cf. Depictions of the Guardians of the Law: LuoHan Painting in China, in: M. Weidner (ed.): Latter Days of the Law, Images of Chinese Buddhism 8501850, Lawrence, KS/Hawaii 1994, p. 183213). The depiction of the Sixteen LuoHan, as is also visible in the present silver plaques, is closely linked to the Qianlong Emperor (reg. 17361795). In 1757, during a visit of the Shengying monastery in Hangzhou, he saw the paintings of the Sixteen LuoHan, then attributed to Guanxiu, and was so enthusiastic that he commissioned a copy of them. He corrected the Chinese transcription of their Sanskrit names, changed their order according to the recommendations of his spiritual advisor Rolpai Dorje (17171786) and wrote encomiastic poems inspired by them. In 1764, the abbot of the monastery had Guanxiu paintings engraved on a marble stupa along with the emperors encomia and corrections. In 1770, the latter ordered the construction of a replica of the stupa in Beijing. Both stupas are still preserved today. Copies of their engravings were considered sought-after collectibles already at that time. In 1782 the Qianlong Emperor was presented with a large screen made of Zitan wood by a court official, depicting the Sixteen LuoHan after Guanxiu in the form of jade inlays with the emperors encomiastic poems and inscriptions, very probably executed after copies of the marble stupa in Hangzhou. (see Luo Wenhua: Screen Paintings of Guanxius Sixteen Arhats in the Collection of the Palace Museum, in Orientations, Sept. 2010, p. 104110). Similar lapis lazuli 16 Luhan table screen exhibited at Palais Dorotheum Vienna, March 2014, sold at 268,700 EURO In Excellent condition over all. All lots are sold as is and where is. Lauren Galleries provides condition reports upon request to aide in your bidding decision. No statement regarding age, condition, kind, value, or quality of a lot, whether made orally at the auction or at any other time, or in writing in this catalog or elsewhere, shall be construed to be an express or implied warranty, representation, or assumption of liability. 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