An archaistic rhinoceros horn libation cup  17th/18th century
Lot 470Y
An archaistic rhinoceros horn libation cup 17th/18th century
Sold for £52,800 (US$ 82,029) inc. premium

Lot Details
An archaistic rhinoceros horn libation cup  17th/18th century
The Property of a Gentleman
An archaistic rhinoceros horn libation cup
17th/18th century
Carved in the form of an archaic vessel, yi, with a central band enclosing taotie masks against a key-fret ground, with key-fret borders at the rim and foot, the openwork handle in the form of two chilong clambering up over the rim, the horn of a rich honey tone.
13.2cm (15¼in) wide

Footnotes

  • Provenance: a Scottish private collection. According to family tradition, it was acquired by the present owner's great-grand-father, a painter and art collector, circa 1900.

    The present libation cup belongs to a group of rhinoceros horn carvings which draw their inspiration from archaic bronze vessels. The trend in the collection and appreciation for archaic bronze vessels, which dated from as early as the eleventh century, led to the printing and distribution of illustrated pattern books, which allowed craftsmen to reproduce the motifs and patterns of ancient bronzes, such as key-fret border and taotie masks, see J.Chapman, The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, London, 1999, p.148. A related libation cup in the Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde in Museum, similarly carved with taotie masks against a key-fret diaper around the body, and with high-relief dragon handles is illustrated in ibid, p.152, fig.184.
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    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
    Bonhams
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