• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2610

    Important Chinese Rhinoceros Horn Carvings from the Songzhutang Collection

    27 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1706

    AN EXCEPTIONALLY LARGE AND FINELY CARVED RHINOCEROS HORN 'BOYS' LIBATION CUP

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN EXCEPTIONALLY LARGE AND FINELY CARVED RHINOCEROS HORN 'BOYS' LIBATION CUP
    QING DYNASTY, EARLY 18TH CENTURY

    Intricately carved in high relief and pierced all over with a continuous scene of three boys at play amidst a background of rocky landscape variously depicted clambering up the side of the rocky outcrops, perched on a ledge holding a leafy spray aloft, and the third peering around the side of the cup with a fan held in his hand, the handle formed by a gnarled tree issuing from the rockwork, the upper section left uncarved to display the lustrous golden honey color of the horn
    9¼ in. (23.5 cm.) long, wood stand, box
    Weight: 13.4 oz. (380 gm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    A number of smaller cups have been published with the same theme of boys at play derived from the theme of '100 boys' at play depicted on a wide range of decorative objects, including porcelain, jade, textile and lacquerware from the Song dynasty onwards. The theme of 'children at play' became symbolic of progeny and the fulfillment of the Confucian ideal in the education and advancement of sons. Compare a cup from the collection of the late Dr. Ip Yee Collection, illustrated by J. Chapman, The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, London, 1999, p. 214, no. 298.

    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, tortoiseshell and crocodile. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.


    Provenance

    Marchant & Son, London, 2002


    Exhibited

    Hong Kong Museum of Art, Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth: Gems of Antiquities Collection in Hong Kong, 2002-2005