• Important Chinese Ceramics and auction at Christies

    Sale 2731

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    1 December 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1954

    A VERY RARE IMPERIAL CARVED POLYCHROME IVORY PANEL WITHIN A ZITAN FRAME

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A VERY RARE IMPERIAL CARVED POLYCHROME IVORY PANEL WITHIN A ZITAN FRAME
    QIANLONG/JIAQING PERIOD (1736-1820)

    Superbly rendered with appliques of carved ivory against a painted glass and paper background to depict a busy scene of village activities, including a sacrificial ceremony, cooking, gathering of crockery, feeding of pigs in a pen, playing a game of weiqi and children variously at play, all set within peaked mountains in the mid and far distance and detailed with tall trees; mounted within a zitan frame, exquisitely carved in shallow relief with ribbons intricately tied around ten evenly divided verre églomisé panels, the corners with interlinked pairs of kui dragons, the upper frame attached with a pair of ruyi-head shaped metal handles
    39 1/2 x 26 1/2 (100 x 67 cm.)


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    As published by Octogan, 1983, the present wall panel was reputed to have been taken from the Summer Palace in 1860 by Lieutenant C. H. Cox of the 2nd Battalion, 60th King's Royal Riffles.

    A very closely related rectangular floor screen from the Beijing Palace Museum collection, similarly decorated with painted ivory appliques to render a scene of the "Thirteen Factories" in Guangzhou was included in the exhibition, Tributes from Guangdong to the Qing Court, Art Gallery, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1987, p. 102, no. 86. Evidently, panels of this type are typical examples of the creative works that were produced by Guangzhou artisans during the late Qianlong to early Jiaqing reigns. Table screens of this decorative technique are also illustrated in Bamboo, Wood, Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2001, pp. 238-245, nos. 189-196.

    Provenance

    Lieutenant C. H. Cox
    Spink & Son Ltd


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM THE MUWENTANG COLLECTION


    Literature

    Octagon, Spink & Son Ltd, Vol. XX, Number 2, October 1983, no. 8


    Exhibited

    Art Gallery, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Chinese Ivories from the Kwan Collection, 28 July - 14 October 1990, Hong Kong, Catalogue, no. 141