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Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN LADY


Finely carved as large overlapping leaves with tips folded over the rim, decorated to the exterior with a continuous scene of squirrels clambering amidst heavily-laden grape vines, their eyes inlaid with tiny glass beads, the thick branches forming the openwork handle and base, the interior with a further squirrel grasping a ripe bunch of grapes, the horn of an attractive warm amber-brown tone darkening towards the base
6¼ in. (15.9 cm.) long
Formerly in the collection of Mr. Wilfred Fleisher, Editor-in-Chief of Japan Advertiser, who acquired this piece in the 1920s in Tokyo and thence by descent to the current owner.
Mr. Wilfred Fleisher born 1897, son of Benjamin W. Fleisher who was the founder of The Japan Advertiser in 1907, an important English-language newspaper in Japan that was established, not merely in Japan but in foreign colonies throughout the Far East- in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Manila. The Fleishers soon became the 'unofficial American ambassadors' to Japan. Wilfred Fleisher wrote several books about Japan in the 1940's which became best sellers at that time.

After graduating from the Colombia School of Journalism and working for the United Press in Paris and Siberia, Wilfred Fleisher returned to Japan to work on his father's newspaper as Editor-in-Chief. He became very interested in Asian art and amassed a substantial collection of works of art, Japanese as well as Chinese. He purchased the majority of his pieces from reputable dealers of the time such as Mayuyama, Kochuko and Yamanaka. The entire collection was acquired during the 1920s and early 1930s, and it is impressive not only for its diversity but also for the attention paid to the quality and rarity of the works, as attested by the current lot.
In November 2003, Christie's London offered a 'very rare Imperial Mughal-style white jade cup', dating to the Qianlong period (1736-1795) from his collection.
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.

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Caroline Allen
Caroline Allen

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Lot Essay

The depiction of squirrels with trailing grape vines may be considered as a rebus for a wish of progeny and the continuation of the family line. They imply a wish for ceaseless generations of sons and grandsons.

Please note this lot is accompanied by a letter from Animal Health agreeing that Christie's may sell it without further CITES certification and confirming that they would be likely to grant an export permit for it to leave the EU post-sale.

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