• 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 819

    A LARGE RHINOCEROS HORN CUP

    17TH/18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A LARGE RHINOCEROS HORN CUP
    17TH/18TH CENTURY
    Finely carved around the sides with rocks and the spreading boughs of a pine tree that forms the handle, all against a background of layered rock faces
    6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm.) long


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The large size and depiction of pine boughs against a background of rock faces on this cup are similar to that of a cup dated to the 17th century in the collection of and illustrated by Thomas Fok in Connoisseurship of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, 1999, no. 160. The carving of the pine needle clusters and the use of the pine tree, which is a symbol of longevity, to form the openwork handle are very similar between the two. As the author states, the "absence of human figures further accentuates the sense of tranquility and ease", making this cup an ideal object for contemplation by a scholar.

    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

    Estate of Nils Nessim, Stockholm, Sweden; Butterfields, San Francisco, 13 June 1990, lot 1643.