A rare Imperial gilt-bronze, cloisonné and champlevé enamel ivory-inlaid 'elephant and vase Guanyin and Skanda' emblem  Qianlong

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Lot 141 Y Ф
A rare Imperial gilt-bronze, cloisonné and champlevé enamel ivory-inlaid 'elephant and vase Guanyin and Skanda' emblem
Qianlong

Sold for HK$ 1,065,000 (US$ 136,897) inc. premium
A rare Imperial gilt-bronze, cloisonné and champlevé enamel ivory-inlaid 'elephant and vase Guanyin and Skanda' emblem
Qianlong
The richly-gilt elephant standing foursquare with its head turned gently to its left, the wrinkled and well-rounded body caparisoned with ornamental trappings set with semi-precious stones, the tasselled saddle draped with a turquoise-ground cloth detailed with diaper pattern, supporting on its back an archaistic vase with taotie masks on a double-lotus base, five-coloured ruyi-clouds rising from the vase supporting a jade roundel with an ivory figure of Guanyin and a guardian deity on the reverse, surrounded by flames, all raised on a balustraded octagonal lotus stand on ruyi feet. 42cm (16 1/2in) high.

Footnotes

  • 清乾隆 掐絲及鏨胎琺瑯太平有象

    Provenance:
    Bulgari collection, Rome (label)

    來源:
    羅馬寶格麗家族舊藏 (標籤)

    The present lot is very rare for its complete condition, as often the top roundel inlaid with the figures is lost. The emblem is rich in auspicious symbolism. The 'vase' (ping 瓶) which puns with 'peace' (ping 平), and elephant (xiang 象) which also means 'sign' or 'portent', forms a rebus for the phrase taiping youxiang (太平有象), meaning 'Where there is peace, there is an omen (or elephant)'. See also a court painting dating to the Qianlong reign, 'Ten Thousand Envoys Come to Pay Tribute' depicts an elephant carrying a vase as part of a tribute procession, illustrated by C.Ho and B.Bronson, Splendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong, London, 2004, pls.80-82.

    The elephant is one of the auspicious symbols of Buddhism - an attribute of royalty, associated with Puxian, the Bodhisattva of Universal Benevolence, and the personification of Perfect Activity and Happiness, who is often shown seated on a white elephant. The Buddhist connection is underscored in the present lot by the ivory plaque of Guanyin in the roundel on one side, with a guardian deity, Skanda. The present lot may even have been part of a set of auspicious symbols used in religious rituals. Compare with a related set of Seven Royal Treasures, including an Elephant, 18th century, illustrated in China: The Three Emperors 1662-1795, London, 2005, p.140.

    See a similar but incomplete elephant emblem, Qianlong, which was sold at Sotheby's Paris, 6 December 2007, lot 90.

    象銅胎鎏金,身帶銅製鎏金嵌寶石瓔珞,象鼻成如意形,頭微側,立於須彌臺上,須彌臺座主體銅胎鎏金,鏨刻嵌藍色琺瑯彩,座底作如意雲紋形,象背披掐絲琺瑯錦地紋寶毯,底部填紅彩作流蘇,寶毯之上馱俯鎏金仰蓮瓣,蓮瓣之上馱銅胎寶瓶,鏨刻饕餮紋填寶藍彩,兩側作鋪首銜環,瓶口吐五彩如意雲紋,雲紋之上托以火焰紋法輪,火焰紋填藍彩,回文攢框,框內嵌如意雲紋碧玉屏,屏上一側嵌牙雕觀音像,一側嵌牙雕韋陀。

    太平有象為清宮常見裝飾,宮廷繪畫中,亦常見有吉象獻寶的畫面,如乾隆時期《萬國來朝圖》中,亦繪有太平有像托寶之畫面,見C.Ho及B.Bronson,《Spelendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong》,倫敦,2004年,圖80-82。

    大象本身也是佛教藝術常見的題材,普賢菩薩便是以大象為坐騎。加之頂部所嵌的觀音和韋陀,推測本件太平有象應為佛前供器,一組多件中的一件。北京故宮藏一組碧玉七珍,其中有太平有象立於須彌台上,可資比較,見《故宮博物院藏品大系玉器篇》,北京,2011年,編號276。

    巴黎蘇富比曾售出一件類似的太平有像,但器物已不完整,2007年12月6日,拍品編號90。
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A rare Imperial gilt-bronze, cloisonné and champlevé enamel ivory-inlaid 'elephant and vase Guanyin and Skanda' emblem  Qianlong
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Lot symbols
Ф Item contains or is made of ivory

This lot contains or is made of ivory. The United States Government has banned the import of ivory into the USA.

Y CITES

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

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