A mother-of-pearl hardstone-inlaid conch shell  Qianlong
Lot 620
A mother-of-pearl hardstone-inlaid conch shell Qianlong
Sold for HK$ 250,000 (US$ 32,208) inc. premium

Lot Details
Various Owners
A mother-of-pearl hardstone-inlaid conch shell
Qianlong
The musical instrument worked from a conch shell of natural spiral cone shape ending in a pointed tip, the other end sealed with a mounting with a flower bud-shaped knop, the sides and the upper surface of meandering floral and leafy decoration further enhansed by inlaid semi-precious hardstones, all enamelled on blue and turquoise ground.
19cm high.

Footnotes

  • The conch or 'shankha' in Sanskit, is often used in Buddhist ritual as a horn or offertory vessel, representing dharma or the spoken word of Buddha. Traditionally used mainly as a symbol or power and authority, it also an emblem of religious sovereignty, where a sound of the conch blowing would ward off evil spirits.

    The current lot is an example used in Tibetan ritual, whereby the conch shell is fashioned into a musical instrument by cutting off the end of the shell and fitting it with an ornamental mouthpiece that extends from the mouth of the shell. A similarly enamelled inlaid couch was gifted to the Qianlong Emperor in celebration for his seventieth birthday, corresponding to 28 October 1780, illustrated in Treasures of Imperial Court: The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, 2004, p.216, pl.192.

    清乾隆 銀胎綠琺瑯嵌寶石海螺

    可參考清宮舊藏之銀胎綠琺瑯嵌寶石海螺,從形製,工藝及用料上都極為相似,如出一轍,見徐啟憲編,《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系-宮廷珍寶》,香港,2004,頁216,圖版192。該海螺為西藏六世班禪為祀乾隆皇帝七十壽辰進獻的,有著特殊歷史價值。

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the cover of the conch is missing from the printed catalogue. It is correctly illustrated in the online catalogue.
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