An archaistic ivory seal 18th/19th century
Lot 8164Y
An archaistic ivory seal
18th/19th century
Sold for US$ 12,500 inc. premium
Auction Details
An archaistic ivory seal 18th/19th century An archaistic ivory seal 18th/19th century An archaistic ivory seal 18th/19th century An archaistic ivory seal 18th/19th century An archaistic ivory seal 18th/19th century An archaistic ivory seal 18th/19th century An archaistic ivory seal 18th/19th century
Lot Details
Scholar's Objects and Works of Art
Property from the Collection of Emmanuel Gran, by Descent
An archaistic ivory seal
18th/19th century
Of cubed section, the carinated sides surrounding the top half intricately incised in geometric patterns and kuilong dragons all surmonted by a tiny carefully-rendered loop handle incised in similar motifs, the underside bearing a quotation alluding to the Lisao section of the Chuci or 'Songs of Chu,' reading zhao mulan zhi duo lu, can qiu ju zhi luo ying.
1in (2.5cm) high

Footnotes

  • The Li Sao or 'Departing from Sorrows' of the Chuci or 'Songs from Chu' was a long wistful poem ostensibly by the hand of Qu Yuan, a paragon of Confucian virtue from the Warring States Period. Roughly translated, the excerpt on the seal reads 'in the morning [drinking] the fallen dew from the lily magnolia, [in the evening] eating the fallen petals of the autumn chrysanthemum.'

    Such a romantic couplet might initially seem contradictory to the piece's rather severe archaistic style of carving. It is however, consistent with the 'Philology' (Kaozheng) or 'Han Learning' movement especially prominent among intellectuals from the mid-Qianlong reign until the Taiping Rebellion. The overall project of Han Learning scholars was to regain the moral authority of classical antiquity through a rigorous and objective reanalysis of ancient texts. The text of the Chuci, undergoing extensive annotation and re-editing throughout its history, combined with the moral authority embodied in the bronze shape would seem to be an inviting choice for such a philological scholar. See Elman, Benjamin From Philosophy to Philology: Intellectual and Social Aspects of Change in Late Imperial China UCLA press, 2001, for an in depth study of these intellectual trends.

    This lot has been in the United States since 1941.
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $100,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
Y CITES

Subject to CITES regulations when exporting items outside of the EU, see clause 13.

Contacts
  1. Angela Lee
    Auction Administration - Chinese Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    220 San Bruno Avenue
    San Francisco, United States 94103
    Work +1 415 503 3358
    FaxFax: +1 415 503 3300
Similar items