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    Sale 2389

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    27 November 2007, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1848

    A RARE GREY JADE EUROPEAN-SUBJECT BRUSH REST

    Price Realised  

    A RARE GREY JADE EUROPEAN-SUBJECT BRUSH REST
    QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY

    Finely carved with two goat-herders watching over two recumbent kids and a further larger ram, one of the reclining kids holding a lingzhi spray in its mouth, the foreign figures depicted with characteristic curled hair beneath broad-rimmed hats, the standing figure holding a ruyi scepter in his right hand, his left arm resting on a rocky crag behind them, the younger kneeling figure holding a water flask suspended from interlocking rings, the highly polished stone varying from speckled light grey to black in tone
    4½ in. (11.5 cm.) wide


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    The use of Chinese symbolism in a scene clearly of European inspiration is interesting. The goat-herder's staff has been replaced by a ruyi and one of the kids is represented with a lingzhi in its mouth conforming to the typical Chinese depiction of three rams symbolising the New Year bringing a change of fortune, Sanyang kaitai.

    Compare with two small 18th century ivory carvings depicting similarly rendered figures of foreigners, one of three foreigners in a boat included in the Oriental Ceramics Society Exhibition jointly held with the British Museum, Chinese Ivories from the Han to the Qing, 1984, Catalogue, no. 261; the other, a seated boy from the Ionides Collection, Sussex, illustrated by S. Jenyns, Chinese Art, The Minor Arts II, London, 1963, no. 99.