The ferocious winged beast combines elements of a horse, a lion, a dragon and another mythical creature, the Qilin or Kirin.
The Bixie was one of the children of the Dragon King and considered to be particularly auspicious. A Chinese saying states: ‘Touch a Bixie once and you will get good luck, twice and you will get money and treasure, and the third time you will get power and position.’
An archaic bronze vessel in the form of a Bixie is coming up for sale at Nagel in Stuttgart at the Asian art auction from December 6-8. The 4in (11cm) long vessel with incrustations of malachite and azurite crystals was created between the 4th and 3rd pre- Christian centuries, during the so-called Six Dynasty Period of the Han.
Like numerous other pieces in the sale, it comes from an Austrian collector who acquired it in Hong Kong in the 1980s. The guide of €4000-6000 leaves the bidders plenty of scope for that vendor to acquire ‘money and treasure’.