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    Sale 12555

    The Imperial Sale / Important Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

    1 June 2016, Convention Hall

  • Lot 3407

    A RARE SILVER-INLAID AND PARCEL-GILT BRONZE RUYI

    MING DYNASTY, LATE 16TH-EARLY 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE SILVER-INLAID AND PARCEL-GILT BRONZE RUYI
    MING DYNASTY, LATE 16TH-EARLY 17TH CENTURY
    The sceptre is decorated in gilded relief on the ruyi head with a dragon and a phoenix holding a lingzhi stem in its beak circling each other, amidst clouds reserved on a cell diaper ground. The reverse is decorated with conforming bands of diaper pattern and waves, and the long arched handle decorated with various flowers including magnolia growing from a pierced rock at the pierced tip, crab apple, narcissus and camellia, all reserved on a smaller star diaper ground. It is further inlaid in silver with four seal characters, fu shou ru yi, above a gilt rectangular seal inscribed with the maker's mark, Yunjian Hu Wenming zhi.
    19 3/8 in. (49.3 cm.) long


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    The silver characters, fu shou ru yi, are a wish for happiness and longevity.

    Ruyi sceptres bearing the mark of Hu Wenming appear to be quite rare. One with a somewhat naturalistic rendering of the ruyi head, a twelve-character inscription inlaid in silver wire on the reverse, as well as the gilded cartouche inscribed with the six-character mark, Yunjian Hu Wenming zhi, is illustrated in Emperor, Scholar, Artisan, Monk, Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, 1984, pp. 272-3, no. 126. The author notes that within the literati world ruyi sceptres were often presented on one's sixtieth birthday as a wish for longevity.

    Provenance

    Christie's Hong Kong, 16 January 1989, lot 301
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London
    Sold at Christie's New York, 22 March 2007, lot 169


    Exhibited

    On loan: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1992 - 2006, no. L.92.3.1