n unusual small carved 'Maple' rhinoceros horn libation cup, Ming dynasty, early 17th century

Lot 4156. An unusual small carved 'Maple' rhinoceros horn libation cup, Ming dynasty, early 17th century, 3 in. (7.6 cm.) wide. Estimate HKD 350,000 - HKD 450,000Price realised HKD 596,000 © Christie's Images Ltd 2012

The cup is of oval form with deep rounded sides carved in medium relief to the exterior with hanging branches of maple descending around the rim, borne on two gnarled trunks on either side of the cup joining at the base with the interlocking roots forming the recessed foot ring. The interior is embellished with a further small leafy branch carved to one side. The material is of a rich caramel tone, box.

Provenance: Acquired from an English collection, 2000  

ExhibitedHong Kong Museum of Art, Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth: Gems of Antiquities Collections in Hong Kong, 2002-2005

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 30 May 2012, Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall