A very fine rhinoceros horn archaistic 'six-chilong' libation cup 17th century

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Lot 56 Y
A very fine rhinoceros horn archaistic 'six-chilong' libation cup
17th century

Sold for HK$ 812,500 (US$ 104,835) inc. premium
A very fine rhinoceros horn archaistic 'six-chilong' libation cup
17th century
Finely carved around the exterior with a band of archaistic taotie masks interrupted by two clambering chilong with bifurcated tails, the handle formed by a further four chilong biting the rim, the horn of caramel-brown tone darkening towards the foot. 13.8cm (5 3/8in) long

Footnotes

  • 十七世紀 犀角雕仿古饕餮紋龍耳杯

    Provenance:
    An important European private collection, and thence by descent

    來源:
    重要歐洲私人收藏,後由家族繼承

    The archaistic design of the present cup, as demonstrated by the taotie mask motif and chilong, encapsulates the renewed interest in designs adopted from ancient bronzes. This reflects the 17th/18th century trend of 'evidential scholarship' (kaoju xue 考據學) not only with ancient texts, but also archaeology and inscriptions on archaic bronzes, as scholars sought a more empirical approach to understanding their ancient heritage invoking the idealised morals and virtues of early China. Responding to the fashion for archaism, craftsmen reproduced the motifs and patterns of ancient bronzes on their rhinoceros horns libation cups from illustrated pattern books.

    The present lot demonstrates how the master carver was keen to display his technical virtuosity by carving four high-relief chilong in openwork to form the handle.

    Compare with a related rhinoceros horn libation cup with similar motif of chilong and taotie masks, 17th century, illustrated by T.Fok, Connoisseurship of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, Hong Kong, 1999, p.88, no.41. Further related rhinoceros horn cups with similar archaistic motifs are illustrated by J.Chapman, The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, London, 1999, p.152, no.184.

    See also a related rhinoceros horn cup, 17th/18th century, which was sold at Bonhams London, 6 November 2014, lot 421.

    參見一件十七世紀古銅紋大龍杯,所刻螭龍和饕餮紋與本器可作比較,見霍滿棠,《中國犀角雕刻珍賞》,香港,1999年,頁88,編號41。其他近似例可參考J.Chapman,《The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China》,倫敦,1999年,頁152,編號184。

    另倫敦邦瀚斯曾售出一例可資比較,十七/十八世紀,2014年11月6日,拍品編號421。
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A very fine rhinoceros horn archaistic 'six-chilong' libation cup 17th century
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