A large yellow 'wax stone' boulder. Estimate $30,000 – $50,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2015
Of irregular form, the stone of golden brown color - 15 ½ in. (39.3 cm.) wide, wood stand
Provenance: The Collection of Robert H. Ellsworth, New York
Notes: Robert D. Mowry, in his discussion of a small yellow 'wax stone' (lashi) scholar’s rock in the catalogue for the exhibition, Worlds Within Worlds: The Richard Rosenblum Collection of Chinese Scholar’s Rocks, Harvard University Art Museums, 1997, p. 271, no. 61, notes that stones of this type were obtained from riverbeds in Guangdong and Guanxi provinces, and “were first collected for studio display during the Qing dynasty, probably in the seventeenth or eighteenth century.” Yellow 'wax stone’ is highly valued for its warm, golden-caramel color and distinctive moist (run) appearance. The present specimen is exceptional for its unusually large size, handsome form, smooth texture and even golden-caramel tone.
The boldly carved stand plays an important role in the overall presentation of the piece. It not only serves to transform the stone into a delightful work of art, but also raises the stone to a height that would have allowed it to function as a stool.
Christie's. THE COLLECTION OF ROBERT HATFIELD ELLSWORTH PART I - MASTERWORKS INCLUDING INDIAN, HIMALAYAN AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN WORKS OF ART, CHINESE AND JAPANESE WORKS OF ART, 17 March 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza