• For the Enjoyment of Scholars: auction at Christies

    Sale 2391

    For the Enjoyment of Scholars: Selections from the Robert H. Blumenfield Collection

    25 March 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 804

    AN UNUSUAL IMPERIAL POLYCHROMED IVORY DOUBLE GOURD-FORM SHALLOW TRAY

    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN UNUSUAL IMPERIAL POLYCHROMED IVORY DOUBLE GOURD-FORM SHALLOW TRAY
    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)
    Finely carved as a large double gourd borne on a leafy flowering vine, with a large bat, dragonfly and beetle on the sides, and a small bat, butterfly, spider and chrysanthemum sprig on the interior
    6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm.) long, wood stand


    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

    Compare the similar stained-ivory double gourd-shaped example in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Ming Qing Shinei Chenshe, Beijing, 2004, p. 120, no. 113, where it is referred to as a brush washer. (Fig. 1) Other comparable examples include one dated late 18th century illustrated in Selected Ivory Carvings from the Sir Victor Sassoon Chinese Ivories Trust, Philipps, London, 9-20 November 1999, no. 19, and one of melon shape, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - Small Refined Articles of the Study, Shanghai, 2009, no. 99. As with the present tray the melon is borne on a vine and has insects carved in relief.
    In Arts from the Scholar's Studio, Hong Kong, 1986, p. 248, G. Tsang and H. Moss, in discussing no. 242, a small ivory tray carved with fruiting branches and bats, propose that small ivory trays of this type may have been used in a poetic drinking game.

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


    Provenance

    Rare Art, Inc., New York, 1981.