A very rare rhinoceros horn signed libation cup
Late Ming Dynasty, signed by Shenyi Ru
Finely carved from a tapering section of horn with a large fierce eagle perched on the back of a mythical beast, the hollowed cavity of the cup set in the back of the bird, with its crisply incised wings and feathery tail forming the walls of the vessel, the bird's head at the top of the vessel with bulging eyes and turned in profile towards its right unveiling its feathery nape and clasping in its beak a long lotus spray, the claws powerfully poised over the back of the recumbent mythical beast forming the foot of the vessel, with bulging eyes and its jaws gaping widely in distress, incised Shenyi Ruzhi in archaic script above the left claw (chips to extremities, rim chip repaired).
13cm (5in) high.
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