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    Sale 2625

    A Fine Collection of Chinese Bamboo Carvings from the Personal Collection of Mr and Mrs Gerard Hawthorn

    3 December 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 2323

    A VERY RARE BAMBOO 'YINGXIONG' GROUP

    Price Realised  

    A VERY RARE BAMBOO 'YINGXIONG' GROUP
    QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY

    Finley carved in the round with a large hawk perched on the knarled branches of a tree, the branches bearing clusters of fruit resting on the bird's back, the hawk with its back arched and a cautious expression as a grimacing dog-like mythical beast prowls below, its right paw raised in anticipation and its long curled tail extending upwards towards the branches of the tree, all supported on a rockwork base and a footed wood stand
    5 7/8 in. (14.9 cm.) high


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    The imagery depicted in this carving appears to be an adaptation of a theme found on early bronze weights and vessels depicting an eagle, ying, seated on the back of a bear, xiong, forming the rebus Ying xiong, champion or hero. The theme became increasingly stylised during Qing dynasty interpretations as can be seen on a white jade vase from the Alan and Simone Hartman Collection, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28th November 2006, lot 1382 where the eagle is depicted as a phoenix-like bird and the bear as a lion-like mythical beast.

    Compare with a stylistically similar carving of two birds in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Masterpieces of Chinese Miniature Crafts in the National Palace Museum, Japan, 1971, col. pl. 12.

    Provenance

    Hugh Moss, 1970's