• For the Enjoyment of Scholars: auction at Christies

    Sale 2391

    For the Enjoyment of Scholars: Selections from the Robert H. Blumenfield Collection

    25 March 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 823

    A FINELY CARVED RHINOCEROS HORN BOTANICAL MOTIF CUP

    17TH/18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A FINELY CARVED RHINOCEROS HORN BOTANICAL MOTIF CUP
    17TH/18TH CENTURY
    Carved in relief around the sides with a butterfly flitting amongst various plants and bamboo growing amidst rockwork, and over the rim onto the interior
    5¼ in. (13.5 cm.) long


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    It is unusual to find such a profusion of different kinds of flowers, which include chrysanthemum, nandina, and possibly lily, on a rhinoceros horn cup. One from the author's collection is illustrated by T. Fok, Connoisseurship of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, 1999, no. 91, where it is dated early 18th century. The naturalistic carving of the flowers and rocks appears to be very similar to that of the present cup. See, also, the cup in the Qing Court Collection, similarly carved with different kinds of flowers and a hovering butterfly, and dated late Ming dynasty, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 44 - Bamboo, Wood, Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings, Hong Kong, 2002, no. 129.

    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 and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.


    Provenance

    Sydney L. Moss, Ltd., London.