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A RARE SILVER-INLAID AND PARCEL-GILT BRONZE RUYI SCEPTRE
A RARE SILVER-INLAID AND PARCEL-GILT BRONZE RUYI SCEPTRE

MING DYNASTY, LATE 16TH-EARLY 17TH CENTURY

Details
A RARE SILVER-INLAID AND PARCEL-GILT BRONZE RUYI SCEPTRE
MING DYNASTY, LATE 16TH-EARLY 17TH CENTURY
Decorated in gilded relief on the ruyi head with a dragon and a phoenix with a lingzhi stem in its beak circling each other amidst clouds reserved on a cell diaper ground, the reverse decorated with conforming bands of diaper pattern and waves, and the long arched handle decorated with various flowers including magnolia growing from a pierced rock at the pierced tip, crab apple, narcissus and camellia, all reserved on a smaller star diaper ground, the reverse inlaid in silver with four seal characters, fu shou ru yi, above a gilt rectangular seal inscribed with the maker's mark, Yunjian Hu Wenming zhi
19 3/8 in. (49.3 cm.) long
Provenance
Christie's, Hong Kong, 16 January 1989, lot 301.
Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London.
Exhibited
On loan: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1992 - 2006, no. L.92.3.1.

Lot Essay

The silver characters, fu shou ru yi, are a wish for happiness and longevity.

Ruyi sceptres bearing the mark of Hu Wenming appear to be quite rare. One with a somewhat naturalistic rendering of the ruyi head, a twelve-character inscription inlaid in silver wire on the reverse, as well as the gilded cartouche inscribed with the six-character mark, Yunjian Hu Wenming zhi, is illustrated in Emperor, Scholar, Artisan, Monk, Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, 1984, pp. 272-3, no. 126. The author notes that within the literati world ruyi sceptres were often presented on one's sixtieth birthday as a wish for longevity.

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