A fine and rare carved ivory 'peach' ruyi sceptre 18th century
Lot 368Y
A fine and rare carved ivory 'peach' ruyi sceptre 18th century
£12,000 - 18,000
US$ 15,000 - 23,000

Lot Details
A fine and rare carved ivory 'peach' ruyi sceptre 18th century A fine and rare carved ivory 'peach' ruyi sceptre 18th century
A fine and rare carved ivory 'peach' ruyi sceptre
18th century
The exceptionally elegant sceptre formed as a peach branch, with the single shaft-like branch issuing smaller twisted branches with leaves lightly stained green, the branches laden with seven peaches and six opening buds lightly stained pink, the head of the sceptre attached with a gilt hinge and formed as a single large peach carved with a lobed cartouche enclosing a view of a pavilion on the mythical island of Penglai amid waves, the peach hollowed to form a box with the cover on the underside carved with leaves and a single delicate bat forming the catch. 34cm (13 3/8in) long

Footnotes

  • 十八世紀 象牙雕蓬萊島圖桃形如意

    Provenance: acquired from Spink & Son, The Minor Arts of China III, 1987, no.35
    An English private collection

    來源:購自Spink & Son,The Minor Arts of China III,1987年,編號35
    英國私人收藏

    The elegant shaping with the structure of the ruyi head attached with a gilt hinge forming a box, together with the meticulous carving of the present ruyi is extraordinarily rare which conveys the high level of craftsmanship in the 18th century and distinguishes itself from many other sceptres in the form of plants.

    Ruyi translates 'as you like', which symbolises the wishes of good fortune and longevity. The Qianlong Emperor highly rated ruyi sceptres as auspicious gifts, which the sceptres were made in various materials including jade, wood, hardstones, lacquer etc. It is also included in the famous Guwan tu painting (Pictures of Ancient Playthings) in the Victoria and Albert Museum (museum number E.59-1911), showing the Qing Court interest in ruyi sceptres.

    See related examples of sceptres in the form of gnarled leafy branches made in different materials in the Palace Museum, illustrated by E. Rawski and J. Rawson, China: The Three Emperors 1662-1795, London, 2005, p.366-369, no.273,275 and 281. Compare also a carved ivory ruyi sceptre sold in Christie's New York, 15 September 2009, lot 225.
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