Lot 1192. A rare carved bone figure of a tiger, late Shang dynasty, 11th century BC; 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm.) long. Estimate USD 5,000 - USD 7,000. Price realised USD 30,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2013
The hollow, or partially hollow, figure is well carved in the round as a tiger standing with head facing forward and tail curled to form a loop. The head is well delineated and there are bands of hooked scrolls on the back, chevrons on the sides and scale-like markings on the belly. The bone has a warm patina, and there is a small patch of cuprite encrustation on one side, fitted box.
Provenance: The Hardy Collection of Early Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art from the Sze Yuan Tang; Christies New York, 21 September 1995, lot 129.
Fong Chow (1923-2012) Collection, New York.
Note: Another free-standing figure of a tiger carved from bone, but not as elaborate as the present example, is illustrated by M. Hearn, Ancient Chinese Art: The Ernest Erickson Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1987, no. 116.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 21 - 22 March 2013, New York, Rockefeller Center