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    Sale 2610

    Important Chinese Rhinoceros Horn Carvings from the Songzhutang Collection

    27 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1708

    AN EXTREMELY RARE AND FINELY CARVED RHINOCEROS HORN 'WOOD GRAIN AND AN BAXIAN' LIBATION CUP

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN EXTREMELY RARE AND FINELY CARVED RHINOCEROS HORN 'WOOD GRAIN AND AN BAXIAN' LIBATION CUP
    MING DYNASTY, 17TH CENTURY

    Of squared conical form, the flaring sides sumptuously carved in relief to one side and around the base with the attributes of the Daoist Immortals (an baxian), including the double-gourd, the ruyi the scepter, the fly-whisk, the fan, and the fish drum, all on a gnarled striated ground imitating wood grain curving over the edge of the rim and continuing to the otherwise undecorated reverse side, the spout formed as a simple oval aperture to one end below the inverted lip, the material of a dark honey tone
    6 15/16 in. (17.6 cm.) wide, wood stand, box
    Weight: 11.2 oz. (320 gm.)


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    Previously sold at Sotheby's New York, 19 September 2001, lot 47.

    The attributes of the Eight Daoist immortals comprise the gourd and crutch of Li Tieguai, the fan of Han Zhongli, the fish drum of Zhang Guolao, the basket of flowers of Han Xiangzi, the castanets of Cao Guo Jiu, the flute of Lan Caihe, the lotus blossom or bamboo sieve of He Xiangu, and the double-edged sword of Lu Dongbin. The attributes became a motif in their own right in the 17th/18th century and were widely used on porcelains of the Qing dynasty.

    Compare a similar example with wood-grain design from the Arthur M. Sackler collection illustrated by T. Fok, Connoisseurship of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 160, no.109.

    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.


    Exhibited

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