A fine rhinoceros horn cup, 17th-18th century. Photo Bonhams
Deeply and elaborately carved in relief around the outside of the magnolia-blossom flaring cup on each side with a chilong dragon coiling amongst long leafy berried branches, a third chilong and bamboo framing the pierced double handle.15.5cm (6¼in) long. Lot 224Y. Estimate: £100,000 - 150,000 / CNY 1.0 million - 1.5 million / HK$ 1.2 million - 1.8 million
The high relief carving of the berries is similar to that of the grapes on a late Ming Dynasty rhinoceros horn libation cup, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Bamboo, Wood, Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings, Hong Kong, 2002, pl.130. See also a rhinoceros horn 'grape motif' libation cup, 17th century, from the collection of Franklin Chow, illustrated by T.Fok inConnoisseurship of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, Hong Kong, 1999, pl.107, later sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, on 8 April 2011, lot 2716.