A rare large rhinoceros horn libation cup 18th century
Lot 434Y
A rare large rhinoceros horn libation cup 18th century
Sold for £79,250 (US$ 123,122) inc. premium

Lot Details
A rare large rhinoceros horn libation cup 18th century A rare large rhinoceros horn libation cup 18th century
A rare large rhinoceros horn libation cup
18th century
Superbly carved in relief with a meandering gnarled leafy grapevine bearing fruit and interspersed with two tree shrews on the exterior and one clambering over the rim to the interior formed of overlapping lotus petals, the horn of dark honey tone.
16.8cm (6 5/8in) wide

Footnotes

  • Provenance: an English private collection

    The imagery on this cup speaks of fertility and enduring family lineage; tree shrews or squirrels were renowned for their large litters, and here they are combined with plentiful seedy grapes sprouting from a strong, sturdy vine. A related libation cup also with squirrels and grapes and dated to the 17th century is illustrated by T.Fok, Connoisseurship of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, Hong Kong, 1999, no.171. Another example was sold at Christie's New York, 15-16 September 2011, lot 1227.

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