• 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 913

    A RARE IMPERIAL STAINED IVORY DOUBLE WATER POT

    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

    Price Realised  

    A RARE IMPERIAL STAINED IVORY DOUBLE WATER POT
    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)
    Finely carved as a side-by-side lily bulb and a persimmon with a wasp carved on one side, both hollow and spanned by a ribbon-tied ruyi sceptre carved as a gnarled stem of lingzhi, with traces of pink color on the persimmon
    3½ in. (9 cm.) long


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    This charming and utilitarian carving would have been a fine addition to a scholar's desk. It is similar in conceit and execution to a similarly small (8.5 cm. long) double covered box, one half of which is carved in the shape of an orange with two bats on top, in the Qing Court collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 44 - Bamboo, Wood, Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings, Hong Kong, 2002, no. 168, where it is dated mid-Qing dynasty.

    According to T.T. Bartholomew, Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 2006, p. 261, no. 9.8.3, the combination of persimmon, lily bulb and fungus form the rebus, "May one hundred things be as you wish".

    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

    Property of the late Miss A. Beasley; Sotheby's, London, 4 May 1984, lot 305 (part).