Lot 3763. A large rhinoceros horn 'grape vine' libation cup, Qing dynasty, late 17th-18th century; 6 1/2 in. (16.7 cm.) long. Estimate HK$900,000 - HK$1,200,000. Price Realized HK$3,620,000. © Christie's Images Ltd. 2011
Of leaf form, carved in high relief on the exterior with two large stems forming the handle and descending towards the base and curving into a broad foot before rising again up the sides as fruit-laden grape vine issuing large palmate leaves and spring-like tendrils, shading from dark brown at the foot to a deep honey colour around the sides.
Note: This ingeniously carved cup belongs to a small group of finely carved cups with fruit decoration. Another example carved with fruiting vine around the sides from the Franklin Cow Collection bearing a Zi Zhen signature was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8 April 2011, lot 2716. Two examples in the Palace Museum Collection are illustrated in Bamboo, Wood and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Beijing, nos. 114 and 130; and an example in the Staatliches Museum fur Volkerskunde, Munich is illustrated by J. Chapman, The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, London, 1999, p. 172, no. 222.