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    Sale 2610

    Important Chinese Rhinoceros Horn Carvings from the Songzhutang Collection

    27 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1713

    A FINELY CARVED 'LOTUS-LEAF' RHINOCEROS HORN LIBATION CUP

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A FINELY CARVED 'LOTUS-LEAF' RHINOCEROS HORN LIBATION CUP
    MING DYNASTY, 17TH CENTURY

    Carved in delicate detail as a large veined lotus leaf enveloped around the flared sides with leaves and three lotus blossoms rising from stalks tied together by a ribbon forming the base, the handle formed by a stalk of millet resting on the rim of the cup, the material of a light caramel tone, darkening at the core
    6 in. (15.3 cm.) across, wood stand, box
    Weight: 5.1 oz. (147 gm.)


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    The lotus, he is a homonym for 'peace' and the ear of grain, sui is homonymous with the word for 'year'. Together they signify the wish for living harmoniously year after year.

    Although rising from a muddy pond, lotus blossoms have long been noted for their uncontaminated beauty representing the pure and elevated character of the virtuous gentleman. The theme appealed greatly to the literati during the late Ming and was used on a variety of scholar's objects.

    Compare a lotus form cup with the stalks similarly bound together by a ribbon to form the handle from the Paul and Helen Bernat Collection sold at Christie's New York, 2 December 1993, lot 9 and again 22 March 2007, lot 146.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory, tortoiseshell and crocodile. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.


    Provenance

    Acquired at auction in New York, 1983


    Literature

    T. Fok, Connoisseurship of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 147, no.97


    Exhibited

    Hong Kong Museum of Art, Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth: Gems of Antiquities Collection in Hong Kong, 2002-2005