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    Sale 12555

    The Imperial Sale / Important Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

    1 June 2016, Convention Hall

  • Lot 3206

    A SOAPSTONE CARVING OF A MYTHICAL BEAST

    KANGXI PERIOD (1661-1722)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SOAPSTONE CARVING OF A MYTHICAL BEAST
    KANGXI PERIOD (1661-1722)
    The recumbent beast is carved in the round with a bushy tail and a single horn incised with the carver’s signature, Yuxuan, its legs tucked under the body. The head is turned to one side, finely detailed with bulbous eyes and a broad snout below prominent eyebrows and curled fur, partially covering its prominent dorsal spine. The semi-translucent stone is of a rich golden yellow tone.
    2 3/4 in. (7 cm.) long, box


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    Yang Yuxuan was a native of Fujian province and one of the most admired soapstone carvers in the Kangxi period. The style of the present carving very closely relates to the finial of a seal carved by Yang Yuxyan in the Beijing Palace Museum (fig. 1), illustrated in Small Refined Articles of the Study, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Shanghai, 2009,no. 253, p. 257, and is undoubtedly by the same hand. The treatment of the head, the claws and the braided tail are all characteristic of Yuxuan’s animal sculptures. Another comparable tianhuang mythical beast by Yuxuan is in the Taipei Palace Museum, illustrated in A Garland of Treasures: Materpieces of Precious Crafts in the Museum Collection, Taipei, 2014, no. III-44, p.138. Compare also thetianhuang mythical beast signed Yuxuan sold in Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 7 October 2006, lot 916.