A coral 'horse and qilin' snuff bottle Qing dynasty, 1760-1860
Lot 103
A coral 'horse and qilin' snuff bottle Qing dynasty, 1760-1860
HK$ 10,000 - 15,000
US$ 1,300 - 1,900
Lot Details
A coral 'horse and qilin' snuff bottle
Qing dynasty, 1760-1860
Of baluster form with high shoulders, carved on one side with a mythical beast expelling a breath containing a sutra, the reverse with a horse expelling a taiji symbol, both treading on crashing waves.
6.6cm high.

Footnotes

  • The textual origin for the depiction of a horse spitting out a taiji can be traced back from one of the earliest extant books of Chinese divination, the Shang dynasty Yi Jing (I Ching). However, there have been no records for the primeval image, thus the current design is a pictorial representation from Confucian records on the ancient legendary diagram. Legends also associate the appearance of the qilin in the garden spitting out a jade book with the birth and death of Confucius.

    清 1760-1860 珊瑚雕河圖鼻煙壺

    壺扁瓶形,瓶身上豐下斂,直口,橢圓形圈足。壺身下淺浮雕一周海水紋,一面作麒麟口吐書,另一面則刻龍馬太極,謂之龍馬負圖,整個主題應為後世對上古時代「河圖」的描繪。

    「河出圖,洛出書」,此文見於《易傳》,但歷來解說不一。「河」即黃河,與洛水並舉,即古時「中原」地區。《禮記·禮運》曾有「河出馬圖」的記載,後世根據孔子於古籍中對「龍馬負圖」的記載將河圖描繪出來。而麒麟吐書圖,相傳來自孔子出生和去世前出現一麒麟在庭院裡口吐玉書而來,後世用來比喻麒麟送子、早得貴子之意。
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