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    Sale 2625

    A Fine Collection of Chinese Bamboo Carvings from the Personal Collection of Mr and Mrs Gerard Hawthorn

    3 December 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 2343

    A FINELY CARVED BAMBOO HEHE ERXIAN GROUP

    Price Realised  

    A FINELY CARVED BAMBOO HEHE ERXIAN GROUP
    QING DYNASTY, 17TH/18TH CENTURY

    Finely carved as the pair of twins, one seated on the ground on the left with one knee raised holding a round wicker box, the other seated on a raised rockwork platform holding a lotus spray in his left hand issuing a large leaf and blossom behind his shoulder, his right hand patting his companion on the back, both figures depicted with smiling faces, their bald heads surrounded by a mane of long hair draped over their shoulders
    3 1/2 (8.9 cm.) across


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    The carver has made exceptionally good use of the material using the natural spotted markings to depict traces of hair on the bald heads of the figures. Compare with a stylistically similar carving of the hehe erxian attributed to the style of the Feng school, illustrated by H.L. Huang in The Exquisite Art of Bamboo Carving, Taipei, 2007, pp.182-183. Compare also a similarly rendered carving of a drunken immortal with a Feng Shibin signature in the Palace Museum Collection, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, vol. 44, Bamboo, Wood and Ivory Carvings, Hong Kong, 2002, p. 46, no. 44.

    The hehe erxian, or the Two Immortals of Harmony and Unity, were believed to preside over happy marriages, and are adaptations of two famous poet-monks of the Tang dynasty, Hanshan and Shide. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the twins were usually depicted holding a box he and a lotus stem, he forming the rebus for harmony, he and unity, he.

    Provenance

    Acquired in London in the 1970's