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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 2310


    Price Realised  


    Finely carved in the round as a large, ripe pomegranate fruit borne on a gnarled leafy branch beside further branches issuing a flower and a small bud, the large fruit depicted with its skin breaking open to reveal the numerous seeds within, the carver skilfully using the natural markings in the bamboo to show the seeds beneath the taut skin of the fruit
    4 in. (10 cm.) wide

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    Solid bamboo carvings of fruit are very rare, particularly carvings of this large size. A related bamboo carving of a pomegranate that has been hollowed out as a receptacle and cover bearing a Shen Liangzhi signature is illustrated by H.L. Huang in The Exquisite Art of Bamboo Carving, Taipei, 2007, pp. 50-51. A bamboo box and cover carved in the form of a pomegranate in the Palace Museum Collection, Beijing is illustrated in The Palace Museum Collection of Elite Carvings, Beijing, 2002, no. 32. For another solid bamboo carving of a fruit of similar size, compare a carving of a peach in the Victoria and Albert Museum illustrated by C. Clunas, Chinese Carving, London, 1996, p. 49, fig. 49.

    The pomegranate, with its many seeds is associated with the wish for plentiful descendants.


    Michael Merton, 1970's