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A WELL-CARVED SOAPSTONE SEAL WITH AN INSCRIPTION BY GAO QIPEI

18TH CENTURY

Details
A WELL-CARVED SOAPSTONE SEAL WITH AN INSCRIPTION BY GAO QIPEI
18th Century
The Shoushan stone of rich caramel color mottled with areas of soft red and brown, carved in low relief around the sides with five finely detailed dragons confronting each other as they emerge from vaporous clouds, finely inscribed above the edge with a lengthy inscription, the flat base carved with a twenty-seven character seal
4in. (10.2cm.) long, box
Literature
Klaas Ruitenbeek, Discarding the Brush: Gao Qipei (1660-1734) and the Art of Chinese Finger Painting, Amsterdam, 1992, no. 61
Exhibited
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Discarding the Brush, Gao Qipei and the Chinese Art of Finger Painting, December 12, 1992 - February 28, 1993

Lot Essay

Gao Qipei (1660-1734) was an official with connections at the imperial court and a painter who was celebrated for painting with his fingers and nails

The inscription on the side reads:
"Earth divines, heaven needs no divination.
In the spring's chilly darkness we sleep,
To rise from the mists while the thunder roars,
And to inundate the world with endless rains.
Note engraved by Gao Qipei on one of the stones and bronzes in the collection of Lü Shiyin in Xicun."

The seal text reads:
"The phoenix comes, bringing spring to the world,
Rain and dew fall afresh from the sky in every season.
Loyalty and filial piety are rated most highly among mankind,
The subject repays his monarch's favours,
The child those of its parents."

Compare the orange-brown seal carved with a dragon amidst clouds, with the artist's seal of Lin Ji, included in the exhibition, Arts from the Scholar's Studio, Oriental Ceramic Society, Hong Kong, 1986, and illustrated by Gerald Tsang and Hugh Moss in the Catalogue, no. 54
;

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