Biography

More researcher and scholar than dealer, Christian Deydier obtained a French university diploma in Chinese language and civilization in Paris. Then, he studied Chinese archaeology and specialized in jiaguwen, the earliest known form of Chinese writing as it appeared on oracle bones and tortoise shells in the Shang dynasty from the 13th to 12th centuries BC, at Tai Ta University in Taipei. In 1976, at the age of only 26, his first work, Les Jiaguwen, Essai Bibliograhique et Synthèse des Etudes (The Oracle Bone Inscriptions, A Bibliographic Essay and Synthesis of Studies) was published by l'Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient, the prestigious French institute of Asian archaeological research.

 

From September 1978, Christian Deydier worked for Mr Moreau Gobard, a distinguished expert in Far Eastern art. Then, in 1980, he was named an expert to the Hôtel Drouot public auction house. The same year, L'Office du Livre in Fribourg, Switzerland, published his book Les Bronzes Chinois (Chinese Bronzes), the first general synthesis to appear on this subject. The book was also translated into English and German.

 

In 1983, Christian Deydier took up residence in England and, in 1987, he opened a gallery, "Oriental Bronzes Ltd", in London. Regularly, since 1985, he has organized exhibitions on themes such as archaic bronzes of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, Chinese gold and silverware, etc. In 1995, Christian Deydier published another book entitled Archaic Chinese Bronzes (Paris, Arhis). In February 1997, he opened a branch of Oriental Bronzes Ltd in Paris, first on rue du Bac, and in 2008 on rue de Seine, at Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

 

Christian Deydier most especially owes his renown in scholarly circles, and most particularly among Chinese archaeologists, to the work which he has carried out on Chinese bronzes and goldware, as well as to his participation in the excavation of the Tang dynasty tomb of Princess Xincheng in Xian. Deydier's work on Chinese goldware was presented in conjunction with three exhibitions, Imperial Gold from Ancient China on the goldware of the Liao dynasty (Part I in June 1990 and Part II in June 1991) and Qin Gold, an exhibition on the goldware of the Zhou dynasty, which was held in Paris at the Biennale Internationale des Antiquaires. The results of Deydier's original work on Chinese goldware were published in the Chinese language in Taiwan in the December 1993 (n°129) and January 1994 (n°130) issues of The National Palace Museum Monthly of Chinese Art and on the mainland in the June 1995 issue of Wenwu, China's principal and most respected archaeological review (Wenwu, 1995, n°6, pages 4 to 11).

     

From 2002 to 2008 and from 2010 to 2014, Christian Deydier was, in France, President of the Syndicat National des Antiquaires. He is also member of the Conseil des ventes.

 

Decorations:

- November 1996, he received the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government.

- January 1998, he received the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur from the French government.

- October 2001, he received the Officier du Mérite National from the French government.

- November 2006, He received the Officier de la Légion d’Honneur from the French Government.

- October 2011, He received the Commandeur du Mérite National from the French government.

 

Publications:

- Les Jiaguwen, Essai Bibliographique et Synthèse des Etudes (The Oracle Bone Inscriptions, Bibliographic Essay and Synthesis of Studies), Publications of the Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient, volume 106, Paris, 1976.

- Chinese Bronzes, Fribourg, Switzerland, Office du Livre, 1980 (in French, English and German editions).

- Archaic Chinese Bronzes, Volume I: The Xia and Shang Dynasties, Paris, Arhis, 1995. Illustrated with more than 370 black and white and colour photos, this volume is the first in a series of three, the second of which will be devoted to the bronzes of the Zhou dynasty and the third to those of the Han dynasty.

- Ancient Chinese Gold, in collaboration with professor Han Wei, director of the Shaanxi Province Centre for Archeological Research., Paris, Arhis, Octobre 2001.

- Chinese Bronzes from the Meiyintang Collection, Vol. 1 & 2 Annexe, Hong Kong 2013.

- Understanding Ancient Chinese Bronzes, Their Importance in Chinese Culture, Their Shapes, Functions and Motifs, Paris, 2015 (in Chinese and French editions).

- And numerous exhibitions catalogues since 1985.

 

Donations:

- Numerous donations to Musée Guimet - Paris.

- Numerous donations to Musée Cernuschi - Paris.

- 1993 donation of a parcel gilt silver box, Liao dynasty, 11th century A.D. to Shaanxi History Museum.

- 2015 donation of 28 gold plaques, Early Eastern Zhou dynasty, 8th century B.C., to Gansu Provincial Museum.