• 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 809


    MING DYNASTY (1368-1644)

    Price Realised  


    MING DYNASTY (1368-1644)
    The top finely carved in deep relief with a scene of boys standing on a terrace beside a garden rock and roses while watching a cock fight, with large lotus leaves and distant mountains in the background, with a band of key fret around the outer edge, the conical reverse centered by the remains of an iron pin surrounded by eight 'precious' objects supported by clouds alternating with further auspicious emblems
    3¼ in. (8.2 cm.) diam., wood stand

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    Medallions of this type are very rare, and although their exact use appears to be still unknown, all of the published examples have been assigned a Ming date. An example carved on top with a peddler and his cart of wares surrounded by boys at play was sold at Sotheby's, New York, 10-11 April 1986, lot 315. Another carved with an itinerant entertainer flanked by boys is illustrated in Selected Ivory Carvings from the Sir Victor Sassoon Chinese Ivories Trust, Phillips, London, 1999, no. 3. A third medallion illustrated in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 'Chinese Decorative Arts', Summer 1997, p. 42, is dated late 16th-early 17th century based on the similarity of the scene to Ming dynasty genre paintings, and to the inclusion of auspicious emblems on the reverse which relate to late Ming dynasty decoration. As with the present medallion there is the remains of an iron pin in the center of the reverse.

    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.


    Oriental Works of Art, Gerard Hawthorn Ltd., London, 11 - 22 June 2001, no. 46.