a_large_squirrels_and_grapes_rhinoceros_horn_cup_17th_18th_century_d5477036h

A Large 'Squirrels And Grapes' Rhinoceros Horn Cup. 17th-18th Century. photo Christie's Ltd 2011

Carved as four large overlapping leaves, their tips folding over the rim to the exterior which is carved with squirrels clambering amidst heavily laden grape vines, their eyes inlaid with tiny glass beads, the thick branches forming the openwork handle and base and trailing over into the interior bearing two more ripe bunches of grapes; 7 5/16 in. (18.5 cm.) diam., box - Estimate $300,000 - $500,000. Price Realized $458,500

Property From The Margaret N. And Everett A. Palmer, Jr.Collection

Notes: As squirrels have large litters, the depiction of a squirrel with trailing vines may be a visual rebus for a wish for many sons and the continuation of the family line, the winding vines representing the family lineage. It has also been suggested that the squirrel and grape-vine motif conveys a wish for promotion to a higher rank.Notes

As squirrels have large litters, the depiction of a squirrel with trailing vines may be a visual rebus for a wish for many sons and the continuation of the family line, the winding vines representing the family lineage. It has also been suggested that the squirrel and grape-vine motif conveys a wish for promotion to a higher rank.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Part I & II,  15 - 16 September 2011. New York, Rockefeller Plaza. www.christies.com