A finely carved bamboo 'bird and lotus' wristrest Signed Xu Subai (1909-1975)
Lot 11
A finely carved bamboo 'bird and lotus' wristrest Signed Xu Subai (1909-1975)
Sold for HK$ 100,000 (US$ 12,873) inc. premium

Lot Details
A finely carved bamboo 'bird and lotus' wristrest
Signed Xu Subai (1909-1975)
Intricately worked, the upper surface carved in the liuqing low relief technique, featuring a bird resting on a willow branch with draping leaves, above a huge overlapping lotus leaf depicted half-eaten by insects and a flowering lotus bud and blossoms, with a series of inscriptions in kaishu and artist's seal mark.
27cm long.

Footnotes

  • The inscription reads 'hanting hua, subai ke', which explains the decoration was drafted by Han Ting and carved by Xu Subai, a native of Wujin in Jiangsu province. Xu was renowned especially for his mastering of traditional yet creative kills of liuqing carving and often work together with artists of the Shanghai School to produce bamboo carvings.

    The liuqing technique is method of carving that involved reserving the greenish bamboo skin and layering it to manipulate the contracting colours between the skin and the darker and more fibrous inner layer of the bamboo. The result creates an effect of traditional Chinese brush and ink painting.

    Compare another bamboo wristrest by Xu Subai in 1956, also carved in liuqing technique with various blossoms from the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in Literati Spirit. Art of Chinese Bamboo Carving, Shanghai, 2012, p.302, no.165.

    A closely related bamboo wristrest signed Xu Bingfang was sold at Christie's Swire, Hong Kong, 29 and 30 September 1992, lot 876.

    留青柳葉荷塘情趣臂擱

    「寒汀畫,素白刻」、「曉鐘」

    取竹子一節,採用留青技法,淺浮雕楊柳枝條垂於荷塘之上,一翠鳥栖於柳枝,荷塘被荷葉覆蓋,其中一朵荷花綻放,另一朵含苞欲開,嬌豔欲滴,旁刻題款「寒汀畫,素白刻」,並鈐「曉鐘」篆書陽文方印。

    留青全稱留青陽文,又稱皮雕,為竹刻獨有的浮雕形式。留竹青雕刻,刮去團之外的青皮,形成竹肌與青皮的對比。

    徐素白(1909-1975),字根泉,號曉鐘,江蘇武進人。現在著名竹刻家,以浮雕、鏤雕、陰刻、留青等諸法為名,繼承傳統而又有創新。其留青技法尤為清新淡雅,常與海上書畫名家合作,所刻竹雕富有濃厚的筆墨情趣。參看上海博物館藏一件徐素白作留青百花齊放圖臂擱,亦為與海派花鳥名家江寒汀合作所刻,見上海博物館編,《竹鏤文心:竹刻珍品特集》,上海,2012年,頁302,圖版165。
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