A rhinoceros horn 'magnolia' libation cup 17th/18th century
Lot 439
A rhinoceros horn 'magnolia' libation cup 17th/18th century
Sold for £43,250 (US$ 72,695) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A rhinoceros horn 'magnolia' libation cup
17th/18th century
The deeply-hollowed cup formed as an open magnolia flower and carved in high relief on the exterior with smaller blossoms all issuing from a delicate leafy branch encircling the cup to form the base.
8cm (3 1/8in) high


  • Provenance: a Scottish private collection

    In China, the magnolia is a symbol of feminine beauty and charm, and is a popular subject for rhinoceros horn as its trumpet-shaped flowers lend themselves to the restrictions of the natural shape of the horn. A related cup from the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, is illustrated by J.Chapman, The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, London, 1999, pp.166-167. An earlier example of this form of cup also carved with magnolia blossom but dated to the Ming Dynasty sold at Christie's New York, 25 March 2010, lot 2391.

  1. Olivia Hamilton
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
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