27 May 2008
A FINE AND RARE SMALL MELON-FORM RHINOCEROS HORN CUP
QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
Exquisitely carved as half a melon with lobed sides borne on a leafy vine and curling tendrils, with large serrated leaves forming the ring foot and concealing a small melon inside carved in the round, the interior with the gentle lobes of the fruit left undecorated to simulate the skin of the melon, the material of a lustrous deep walnut brown tone
3/16 in. (8 cm.) across, wood stand, box
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 gm.)
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T. Fok, Connoisseurship of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 149, no.99
Hong Kong Museum of Art, Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth: Gems of Antiquities Collection in Hong Kong, 2002-2005
Previously sold at Sotheby's New York, 19 September 1998, lot 395.
Compare the present cup with a related but slightly larger rhinoceros horn melon-shaped cup in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, illustrated by J. Chapman, The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, London, 1999, pl. 226. Compare also a small melon-form cup from the Arthur M. Sackler and Ruth Dreyfus collections sold at Christie's New York, 1 December 1994, lot 24.
Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory, tortoiseshell and crocodile. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
Lots 1701 - 1735 Please note that neither the seller nor Christie's will consider any aftersale offers for lots in this sale.
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