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    Sale 2625

    A Fine Collection of Chinese Bamboo Carvings from the Personal Collection of Mr and Mrs Gerard Hawthorn

    3 December 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 2345

    A RARE AND FINELY CARVED OPENWORK BAMBOO ZHONG KUI GROUP

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE AND FINELY CARVED OPENWORK BAMBOO ZHONG KUI GROUP
    LATE MING DYNASTY, 17TH CENTURY

    The group is of irregular form, following the natural curve of the bamboo, depicting the bearded Zhong Kui happily seated on the back of a recumbent demon, whilst another is on his knees serving wine to his master, and a third demon is cleaning Zhong Kui's ear, all under a gnarled pine tree, forming an arch over a group of ornamental rockwork behind two playful demons, one tugging and the other pushing, coaxing a deer toward Zhong Kui, the reverse side with crevices imitating ornamental rocks
    6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm.) wide


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    The theme of Zhong Kui quelling demons is invariably portrayed in many amusing compositions. The story of Zhong Kui was thought to have orginated in the Song dynasty from the writings of Shen Kuo who wrote that the ailing Tang dynasty emperor, Minghuang, dreamt of a large ghost eating small demons. When asked, the large ghost replied that his name was Zhong Kui and he wanted to serve the emperor in eliminating demons. Following the dream, when the Emperor recovered from his illness, Zhong Kui's images were painted at the end of every year to ward off evil spirits. For a discussion, cf. Ming and Qing Bamboo, the University of Hong Kong, 2000, p. 286; and a bamboo figure of Zhong Kui, carved in the round, illustrated op. cit., p. 287, no. 70.

    Provenance

    Acquired in London in the 1960's/1970's