• Lot 1556

    **A FINELY CARVED OPENWORK STAINED IVORY BOX AND COVER

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    **A FINELY CARVED OPENWORK STAINED IVORY BOX AND COVER
    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

    The sides of the box formed by octagonal facets, each panel embellished with delicately carved insects and birds among flowering sprays alternating with double-gourds and melons borne on vines, all on a pierced cash-symbol ground and finely applied along the edges with a band of floral-scrolls, the shorter sides flanked by a pair of loop-handles designed with a pair of confronted dragon heads, the similarly carved cover surmounted by a finial in the form of a lychee growing on a leafy branch, the ivory stained with green, orange and pink pigments
    9 3/4 in. (24. 7 cm.) across, box


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    This intricate workmanship is very similar to a circular box also decorated with melons on vines and insects in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Zhongguo Meishu Quanji, vol. 11, no. 117, where the author cites that the carving was typical of the imperial workshops located within the Forbidden Palace, ibid, p. 38. Evidently, a number of these highly elaborate ivory boxes were also carved in Canton (present day Guangzhou) where they were produced on commission from the imperial court. Compare to two stained ivory examples included in the exhibition, Tributes from Guangdong to the Qing Court, 1987, and illustrated in the Catalogue: the first, an octagonal box decorated with flower-scrolls, no. 64; and the other an eight-lobed box with the Eight Buddhist Emblems, bajixiang, no. 65.

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