Lot 174
A Pair of Large Chinese Sculptures of the Goddess of the Moon and God of the Sun
Lot Details & Additional Photographs
Qing dynasty (1644-1912), 19th century, Shiwan pottery figures, possibly from the studio of Rubi Wen, very finely crafted, painted in vivid colors to their attire while leaving their faces unglazed, they stand on cloud bases and look towards each other, each holding a disc in their hands extending upwards.

The sculptures are depictions of the God of the Sun, Hou Yi, and his wife the Goddess of the Moon, Chang'e. They were immortals living in the heavens in the court of the Jade Emperor. However, the Jade Emperor sent them to earth, where they lost their immortality and became mortal.

31 3/8 in., 31 in.

From the collection of Frank Capra (1897-1991), and by family descent

This pair of sculptures were found in the 1930s on the estate that Frank Capra and his wife purchased in Brentwood, CA. Frank Capra was an award winning American-Italian film director, writer, and screen director responsible for such classic movies as "It's a Wonderful Life," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," and "It Happened One Night." The couple drained the pond on their property to keep their children from potentially drowning, and discovered this pair of sculptures at the bottom of the pond. They have resided with the Capra family ever since.

A similar pair is featured in the Blake Gardens at UC Berkeley in California.

Overall good estate condition; repair to one hand and neck on female figure; small loss to bottom of cape on reverse side of the male figure; both figures with two small holes to reverse side from previous mounting, underside of each covered in felt.

$3,000 - 5,000