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    Sale 2610

    Important Chinese Rhinoceros Horn Carvings from the Songzhutang Collection

    27 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1732

    AN EXQUISITE RHINOCEROS HORN TEA BOWL

    Price Realised  

    AN EXQUISITE RHINOCEROS HORN TEA BOWL
    SONG/YUAN DYNASTY (12TH -14TH CENTURY)

    Carved in shape of tianmu tea bowl, the deep rounded thick sides slightly incurved at the rim, the elegant body supported on a short, slightly spreading foot, the base carved and filled in gold with the characters nei fu, 'Inner Palace', the horn of a warm golden-honey tone
    3 1/8 in. (8 cm.) diam., wood stand, box
    Weight: 4.2 oz. (120 gm.)


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    The inscription neifu,'inner palace', is found on articles that were intended for use in the Forbidden City and J. Chapman notes in ibid., p. 87 that this appears to be the only rhinoceros horn carving to have been published bearing this inscription.

    The closely related form of tianmu (Temmoku) tea bowls made for the Japanese market during the Song and Yuan dynasties, as well as the rich patina and age crackles of the material on the current vessel suggest a Song or Yuan dynasty date.

    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

    Phillips New York, 1981


    Literature

    T. Fok, Connoisseurship of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 100, no.52
    J. Chapman, The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, London, 1999, pl. no.64


    Exhibited

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