Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall
30 May 2012
A FINELY CARVED 'SCHOLARS' RHINOCEROS HORN LIBATION CUP
MING DYNASTY, EARLY 17TH CENTURY
The flaring sides are finely carved around the exterior with two pairs of scholars in a rocky river landscape, one pair preparing to cross a bridge over a stream, the other standing on a rocky outcrop beside a cascading waterfall. The handle is formed by the trunk of a large gnarled pine tree extending into the interior of the cup, opposite a maple tree issuing from pierced rockwork. The material ranges from a rich golden brown to walnut tone.
7 1/2 in. (19 cm.) wide, wood stand, box
Acquired in London, 1982
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T. Fok, Connoisseurship of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 207, no. 151
Hong Kong Museum of Art, Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth: Gems of Antiquities Collections in Hong Kong, 2002-2005
The decorative theme rendered on the present cup depicting a naturalistic landscape inhabited by scholars clearly illustrates the influence of contemporaneous paintings and the subject-matter was popularly adopted by master craftsmen for decoration on rhinoceros horn carvings.
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.
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