• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2610

    Important Chinese Rhinoceros Horn Carvings from the Songzhutang Collection

    27 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1719

    A MAGNIFICENT AND SUPERBLY CARVED ARCHAISTIC RHINOCEROS HORN 'CHILONG' LIBATION CUP

    Price Realised  

    A MAGNIFICENT AND SUPERBLY CARVED ARCHAISTIC RHINOCEROS HORN 'CHILONG' LIBATION CUP
    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

    The spectacularly large, well-proportioned cup fashioned from a single piece of rhinoceros horn, the tapering body with a wide pinched pouring lip, exquisitely carved with keyfret borders contouring the inner and outer rim, the waisted mid-section and foot meticulously detailed in thread relief with bands of taotie masks divided by shallow, notched flanges, carved all over in high relief with thirty-nine lively chilong clambering around the sides and over into the interior, the curved strap-handle with large tiger head terminal, the whole raised on a high slightly flared foot, the material of lustrous golden amber tone darkening slightly at the core
    8 3/8 in. (21.2 cm.) across, wood stand, box
    Weight: 22.2 oz. (630 gm.)


    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

    Previously sold at Sotheby's New York, 23-25 April 1987, lot 289

    The massive size of this cup and the meticulous detail that has gone into carving the thirty-nine chilong around the sides of the cup make this a remarkable example of rhinoceros horn carving from the Qianlong period. They demonstrate at once the flamboyance of the Qianlong style and the technical virtuosity attained by the carvers of this period.

    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.


    Literature

    T. Fok, Connoisseurship of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 66, no.19
    Art Collection, 2001, no. 105
    Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth: Gems of Antiquities Collection in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 2004, pl. 69


    Exhibited

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