Carved as two large lotus pods with kidney-shaped apertures nestled within the leaves and stems carved on the base and around the sides where they are bundled together with the stem of a sagittaria leaf, a dragonfly perched on the edge of one pod and a small lotus bud to one side, the stone of even white tone
7 3/8 in. (18.6 cm.) across

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Lot Essay

The present lot carries with it several deeply auspicous wishes for the owner. According to Terese Tse Bartholomew in Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 2006, p. 47, the lotus flower, hehua, symbolizes both marriage and purity. As the lotus is one of the few plants whose seed pods are visible when the flower begins to bloom, it also also associated with the early arrival of sons, as the seed pod, bursting with seeds, is a symbol of fertility. The lotus rhizome, ou, seen curled around the base of the present lot, is homophonous with "married couple" (ou), and the leaf, heye, is a pun for harmony.

Compare the similar carving of a pair of lotus pods supported on a network of stems, with a dragonfly perched on the edge of one pod and a praying mantis on the other, illustrated by d'Argencé, Chinese Jades in the Avery Brundage Collection, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 1977, pp. 116-7, pl. LI.

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