‘Unique’ white porcelain statue of Mao Tse Tung to be offered for £500,000 at AFE

An almost life-size white porcelain statue of legendary Chinese leader Mao Tse Tung is to be offered for sale at half a million pounds (sterling) at next month’s Antiques for Everyone Fair: Art, Antiques, Interiors Fair at London’s Excel Exhibition Centre. It is said to be quite possibly ‘unique’ and the only survivor of an edition of just two made in 1967.

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The statue was produced in October 1967 to the order of the Chinese government. It is now owned by Scottish investment company Coldingham Investments Ltd, which has extensive interests in the Chinese art market. Explains managing director Paul Harris, ‘We know that two of these statues were made but there is no trace now of the other one which went to Chinese government offices after completion. This statue of China’s controversial leader may well be unique.

‘It is dated October 1967 which was a landmark time for China as the Cultural Revolution was launched. It is a ‘heroic’ interpretation of Mao at the height of his adulation. As such, it is a vitally important historical relic.’

The 1.42m-tall white-glazed statue is accurate down to every last detail, including the birthmark on Mao’s face. The subject wears the legendary ‘Mao jacket’ with every button faithfully replicated. For many years this statue graced the halls of the Chinese Embassy in Rome but was removed from show when the great leader fell from favour. It is in perfect condition.

According to researches carried out by the vendors, it was made in 1967 in China’s porcelain capital, Jingdezhen. Says Paul Harris, ‘It is notoriously difficult to make a white porcelain statue of this very large size. Accordingly, large numbers could not be manufactured. This perfect example would probably have been preceded by dozens of failures during the firing process. We know of no other surviving examples.’

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The 50 year-old statue is inscribed with the brave legend ‘May Mao Tse Tung live for 10,000 years’. It bears the number ‘2’ and and also bears the date October 1967.

It will be on show at AFE, the first London edition of AFE which has enjoyed a successful run in Birmingham for many years, with an unveiling on Stand E5 (Paul Harris Asia Arts) on the morning of January 13. AFE takes place at the Excel Exhibition Centre in the east of London January 13-15.

Further details may be had by emailing paul@chineseart.co.uk.

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Chen Dapeng’s secret sculpture is of . . . H M Queen Elizabeth II

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It can now be revealed, exclusively by this site, that the top secret sculpture that Chinese sculptor Chen Dapeng has been working on since May of this year is of the British Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

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A September 2015 picture of Chen Dapeng working on the clay version of his sculpture of HM Queen Elizabeth II  Copyright Photo by Paul Harris

This information will be revealed tomorrow morning at 1030 Beijing time (0330 UK time) at a press conference being held in the Chinese capital’s No. 1 prestige venue, The Great Hall of the People. It will also be revealed that Chen Dapeng is to be recognised by the Chinese government as official sculptor for UK-China Cultural Exchange Year.

On Friday, Chen Dapeng and his team will leave China and fly to London. The bust of the Queen – the final version is to be in priceless white porcelain crafted by Jingdezhen’s Hanguang Factory – will go on public show on the evening of Monday, November 2 at the opening party for this year’s Olympia Winter Art & Antiques Fair.