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    Sale 2625

    A Fine Collection of Chinese Bamboo Carvings from the Personal Collection of Mr and Mrs Gerard Hawthorn

    3 December 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 2302

    AN UNUSUAL BAMBOO 'DOE AND FAWN' GROUP

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN UNUSUAL BAMBOO 'DOE AND FAWN' GROUP
    QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY

    Gracefully carved in the round as a doe tending to its young in the foreground, the adult with a benevolent expression resting on its raised front legs, its head surmounted by large irregular horns, looking down towards the recumbent fawn at its side, the finely incised fur on the backs of the animals accentuated by the natural patina and markings of the bamboo
    3 1/2 in. (9 cm.) wide


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    Although bamboo carvings of deer-form cups are known, carvings of deer in the round appear to be extremely rare. A pair of deer-form cups are illustrated by H.L. Huang, The Exquisite Art of Bamboo Carving, Taipei, 2007, pp, 196-197. A carving of a recumbent horse in the National Palace Collection, Taipei rendered in a similar pose is illustrated in Masterpieces of Chinese Miniature Crafts in the National Palace Museum, Japan, 1971, col. pl. 10; compare also a stylistically similar carving of three rams in the Palace Museum, Beijing illustrated in The Palace Museum Collection of Elite Carvings, Beijing, 2002, no. 39.

    The deer, as the only animal able to seek out the elusive lingzhi fungus, symbolises longevity. It is also homophonous with 'emolument' and 'road'. The representation of two deer together symbolises the wish for all roads to be smooth, Lulu shunli.

    Provenance

    Acquired in London in 2003