A rhinoceros horn ‘Figural Landscape’ libation cup, Qing Dynasty , 17th-18th century

Lot 3793. A rhinoceros horn ‘Figural Landscape’ libation cup, Qing Dynasty , 17th-18th century. Estimate 500,000 — 700,000 HKD. Lot Sold 1,480,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby’s.

the tapered horn meticulously carved on the exterior with a continuous scene depicting several figures amidst an idyllic riverscape laden with large overhanging wutong and pine trees, the tranquil setting quaintly accented with a few bridges, pavilions and pagodas, the rippling waters detailed with swirl motifs, the openwork handle formed on one side with gnarled towering trees and branches extending onto the interior of the cup and issuing pine and wutong blossoms, the horn of a warm reddish-brown tone, wood stand; 15.5 cm., 6 1/8  in.

Notes: Deftly carved with a scholar in a riverscape, rhinoceros horn cups decorated with figural scenes were inspired by painted handscrolls, whereby the continuous scene was ‘unravelled’ as the cup was turned. Compare two rhinoceros horn cups, similarly decorated with figures in craggy landscapes and fashioned with a handle carved in the form of pine trees, sold in our London rooms, the first, from the collection of Marcel Lorber, 24th April 1987, lot 281, and the second, 29th October 1982, lot 94.

Sotheby’s. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 08 oct. 2014, 03:00 PM