A rare agate 'double ram' cup, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722)

Lot 3769. A rare agate 'double ram' cup, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722). Estimate 700,000 — 900,000 HKD. Lot sold 875,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's. 

naturalistically carved and skilfully hollowed to the interior in the form of a recumbent ram with its head turned backwards, its young resting by its side whilst suspending a sprig in its mouth, both animals detailed with ruyi-shaped tails, the opaque stone of a variegated warm amber tone, wood stand - 9.6 cm., 3 3/4  in.

ProvenanceCollection of Y.C. Chen, Hong Kong, 1970s.
Christie's New York, 13th September 2012, lot 1110.

NoteThe present cup appears to have been inspired by animal-shaped cups carved from rhinoceros horn; see for example one similarly modelled as a deer, sold in our London rooms, 12th November 1974, lot 134, and again at Christie’s Hong Kong, 1st June 2011, lot 3755, from the collection of Dr. Jo Evy, and illustrated in Jan Chapman, The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, London, 1999, pl. 57. See also another Wanli reign-marked example in the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat collection, previously sold in these rooms, 25th November 1987, lot 490. 

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