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    Sale 12249

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    8 November 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 127

    A PAIR OF EMBELLISHED CLOISONNÉ AND CHAMPLEVÉ ENAMEL CAPARISONED ELEPHANTS

    QIANLONG-JIAQING PERIOD (1736-1820)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF EMBELLISHED CLOISONNÉ AND CHAMPLEVÉ ENAMEL CAPARISONED ELEPHANTS
    QIANLONG-JIAQING PERIOD (1736-1820)
    Each elephant supports a vase containing lingzhi sprigs embellished with goldstones, with stylised lotus designs on the vase, saddle and saddle cloth. The white bodies are inset with gilt cloisons imitating the wrinkled hide, and the trappings are decorated with various coloured stones.
    The taller 16 ¾ in. (42.5 cm.) high


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    The elephant is associated with strength, wisdom and intelligence, and is also held in high esteem in Buddhist beliefs. An elephant carrying a vase on its back forms the rebus Taiping Youxiang, which is a wish for peace and harmony. Models of elephants with vases on their backs were therefore often placed on either side of a throne to represent universal peace.
    A pair of blue cloisonné enamel elephants with vases on their backs can be seen flanking the elaborate throne in the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City, Beijing, in a photograph illustrated in Imperial Life in the Qing Dynasty, The Empress Place Museum, Singapore, 1989, p. 46.

    Provenance

    From a private American collection, acquired in the US in the 1980s.
    With Dragon House, San Francisco.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION (LOTS 127-130)

    Christie's is pleased to offer this fine selection of works of art from a distinguished private American collection. The items in this collection were acquired by the owner's parents in America in the 1980s, where they had many friends from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Together they shared their common interest in the spirit of ancient Chinese culture and developed a keen eye for beautiful Chinese art.