• 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 825

    A RARE FINELY CARVED IVORY REST OR PAPERWEIGHT

    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

    Price Realised  

    A RARE FINELY CARVED IVORY REST OR PAPERWEIGHT
    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)
    Probably Imperial, finely carved in high relief and pierced on both sides as a flattened section of a pine tree
    5¼ in. (13.3 cm.) long


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    The theme of a pine tree and the quality of the carving of this rare rest or weight are similar to those found on a very unusual ivory carving of comparable size (13.5 cm. long) in the Qing Court collection, illustrated in The Palace Museum Collection of Elite Carvings, Beijing, 2002, no. 116, as well as in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - Small Refined Articles of the Study, Shanghai, 2009, no. 139. Like the present example it is double-sided and is described respectively as an arm rest and a paperweight. However, it is also described as having multiple uses. On one side there is a water receptacle or brushwasher at one end, while on the reverse there is a hinged cover that lifts up to reveal a shallow compartment. In the first publication this cover, which has a framed circular cut out on the underside, is called a mirror stand, inferring that it might have held a small mirror, and that this piece might have been for the use of a lady rather than for 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

    The Oriental Art Gallery, London, 1996.


    Exhibited

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1997 - 2007.