China, Han-dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). Brown patinated bronze, partially with green patina. Bellied bowl on foot with fretwork cover. The shaft and foot in the shape of a bearded man, kneeling on 4 mythical beasts. The cover as a sacred mountain, topped by a bird figure. At the wall of the bowl a revolving relief band with finely lined pattern of entwined mystical creatures. H. 40 cm. - Censers of this form, referring to the sacred mountains of the Taoist pantheon, are an invention of the Han-dynasty. See: Munakata, Sacred Mountains in Chinese Art, Illinois 1991, S. 72-81. An identically shaped censer can be found in the coll. of Poly Art Museum, Beijing. - Lit.: Rawson, Mysteries of Ancient China: New Discoveries from the Early Dynasties, New York 1996, pp. 172f. - Prov.: Rare Chinese Bronzes and Works of Art from an important private collection in France (Lot 700 - 721). The following group of bronzes, ceramics and jade objects are part of an old noble collection in Southern France. The collection has been assembled since the 19th cent. By an art-minded entrepreneur and has been in the estate of the family by descent ever since. The family kept manifold private and commercial relations to China and was able to build up an exquisite and important collection. A selection of these marvelous objects is now being offered and is available to the global art market for the very first time. The objects demonstrate the fascination for Chinese and Asian Art and the collecting passion of an intellectual gentleman and connoisseur.