A very fine and rare coconut reticulated pomander and cover  18th century (2)

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Lot 100
A very fine and rare coconut reticulated pomander and cover
18th century

Sold for £ 2,550 (US$ 3,506) inc. premium
A very fine and rare coconut reticulated pomander and cover
18th century
The domed cover and pomander each deftly carved and pierced with a writhing central dragon amidst curling clouds, all within diaper pattern borders and a central key-fret border, the coconut of dark-chocolate tone. 6.2cm (2 1/2in) diam. (2).

Footnotes

  • 十八世紀 椰殼鏤雕龍紋香熏

    Provenance: J.C.Oswald (1857-1930) (label)
    Dilys Mary Eaton and thence by descent

    來源:J.C.Oswald(1857-1930)(標籤)
    Dilys Mary Eaton夫人舊藏,並由後人保存迄今

    John Charles Oswald (1857-1930) was a tea merchant. He arrived in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, in the late 1880s, having worked for a tea importer in London for thirteen years. Initially working for Odell & Co. as a clerk, he moved within a few years to Bathgate & Co. where he became manager and partner. Oswald combined his work for Bathgate & Co. with work for other firms, such as Fairhurst & Co. in the 1900s, and he was also Consul for the Netherlands from the 1890s and later Vice-Consul for Norway. Oswald was a keen amateur photographer and eight of his photograph albums are held at the School of Oriental & African Studies Archives.

    As has been pointed out by G.Tsang and H.Moss, Arts from the Scholar's Studio, Hong Kong, 1986, no.256, the early Ming connoisseur Cao Zhao, lists coconut shell in the 'Rare Woods' section in his study of antiquity, Gegu Yaolun. Cao cites two southern provinces, Guangdong (which would have included also Hainan) and Guangxi, as well as Annam (modern day Vietnam) as the source of this material and mentions it being 'either painted or set in silver to make wine cups, wine pots, individual plates, wine ewers, and water ladles.' In a later, enlarged edition volume of 1462, he adds, 'the small ones are the most expensive and hard to come by'. See, P.David, Chinese Connoisseurship, the Ko Ku Yao Lun: The Essential Criteria of Antiquities, London, 1971, p.156. See also Tsang and Moss, Arts from the Scholar's Studio, Hong Kong, 1986, no.256, for a small carved coconut shell wine cup with a silver liner.

    See also a round box and cover of coconut shell, mid Qing dynasty, in the Qing Court Collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Bamboo, Wood, Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings, Hong Kong, 2002, p.96, no.88.
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A very fine and rare coconut reticulated pomander and cover  18th century (2)
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