A white jade 'elephant' group 18th century
Lot 199*
A white jade 'elephant' group
18th century
Sold for £37,250 (US$ 62,610) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
The Property of a Gentleman 紳士藏品
A white jade 'elephant' group
18th century
Finely and crisply carved in relief with an elephant on rockwork turning its head to the left, beneath two boys amidst pine branches, one holding a staff, the other holding a brocade ball playing with a Buddhist lion elaborately detailed with protruding eyes, long mane and tail, its mouth grasping a ribbon tied to the brocade ball, the stone of even white tone with very minor grey flecks, wood stand.
10.4cm (4in) high (2).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: Jade House, Hong Kong, purchased on 21 March 1964
    A Canadian private collection

    十八世紀 白玉雕童子戲象

    來源: 於1964年3月21日購自香港Jade House
    加拿大私人收藏

    The elephant, 象 xiang, which died out in China in ancient times, still survived as a popular decorative motif. As a pun for 'sign' it was a very useful symbol, and here the pairing of an elephant with boys 騎象 qixiang expresses the wish for good fortune 吉祥 jixiang. It is more rare to find the boys caring for the elephant also accompanied by a Buddhist lion, which serves to remind the viewer of the Buddhist connotations of the elephant-washing scene. Despite the earnest wishes expressed in this piece, the mood is neverthless playful as one boy teases the lion with the brocade ball and the other fans the grateful elephant while climbing up onto his back.
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  2. Olivia Hamilton
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
    Bonhams
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