A very fine boxwood ruyi sceptre Qianlong (2)

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Lot 47
A very fine boxwood ruyi sceptre
Qianlong

HK$ 250,000 - 350,000US$ 32,000 - 45,000
A very fine boxwood ruyi sceptre
Qianlong
The elegantly curved shaft carved in low relief with a pair of cranes perching below a gnarled pine tree and scrolling clouds, all above a key-fret border, extending to a ruyi-shaped head delicately carved with a shou character at the centre encircled by three scrolling lotus blossoms below a swastika symbol, all below a bat in flight, the wood patinated to a warm chestnut tone, box. 43.8cm (17 1/8in) long (2).

Footnotes

  • 清乾隆 黃楊木雕松鶴萬壽如意

    Provenance:
    Hugh Moss Ltd., London
    Sotheby's Hong Kong, Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection: Scholarly Art, 8 October 2010, Lot 2195

    來源:
    Hugh Moss有限公司,倫敦
    香港蘇富比,《水松石山房珍藏:文人藝術》,2010年10月8日,拍品編號2195

    The present ruyi sceptre is a particularly refined example notable in its elegant shaft with the poetically curved outlines, as well as the meticulous and crisp relief carving conveying the high level of craftsmanship achieved in the 18th century. The Qianlong Emperor highly rated ruyi sceptres as auspicious gifts, as attested in the Guo chao gong shi, which records that the Qianlong Emperor's mother received one hundred and eight ruyi sceptres for her sixtieth birthday. Sceptres were made in various prized materials including jade, wood, hardstones, lacquer, bronze and cloisonné enamels.

    The sceptre is rich with auspicious blessings; ruyi translates 'as you wish', and the form of the head, derived from the lingzhi fungus is associated with longevity, therefore symbolising the wishes for good fortune and longevity. The bat (fu 蝠), the shou medallion and the ruyi-head together represent the wishes of blessings, longevity and fulfillment of all wishes (fushou ruyi福壽如意); while the bat and the swastika symbol (wan 萬) form the rebus for ten thousand blessings (wanfu 萬福) as 'swastika' is a pun for the word 'ten thousand'. Furthermore, cranes (he 鶴) and pine (song 松) symbolise the blessing for long life (songhe tongchun 松鶴同春). The exquisite skill and craftsmanship demonstrated in the present lot and the auspicious motifs suggest it was made for a special occasion, such as an Imperial birthday.

    Compare a related bamboo-veneered ruyi sceptre with a shou-character motif on the head of the sceptre, Yongzheng/Qianlong, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated by E.S.Rawski and J.Rawson, eds., China: The Three Emperors 1662 - 1795, London, 2005, no.274.

    此如意木質柔韌細膩,且較同類者體量碩大,其柄作四個弧度彎曲,線條優美雅緻,配合如意首及柄部浮雕紋飾,更顯其溫婉大方。如意首雕纏枝蓮花及壽字,寓意「萬壽連延」,配合如意柄上青松及仙鶴紋飾,有「松鶴延年」之祝壽意義。

    清代早中期是竹木雕刻工藝發展的高峰期,受乾隆皇帝對雕刻品「畫意」的追求,許多作品亦將繪畫技法運用到雕刻之中。如意在宮中經常被用作婚慶或者帝王賞賜之物,《國朝宮史》中亦有官員向孝聖憲皇后進貢如意的記載。清代地方官員進貢的木雕如意中,黃楊木如意更必不可少。

    參看北京故宮博物院所藏一件清雍正/乾隆竹黃如意,其如意首亦雕有壽字紋,見E.S.Rawski及 J.Rawson,《China: The Three Emperors 1662 - 1795 》,倫敦,2005年,編號274。
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A very fine boxwood ruyi sceptre Qianlong (2)
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