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20 mars 2020

A rare and finely carved imperial openwork stained ivory ruyi, Qing dynasty, 18th century


Lot 3351. A rare and finely carved imperial openwork stained ivory ruyi, Qing dynasty, 18th century; 14 1/2 in. (36.7 cm.) longEstimate HKD 600,000 - HKD 800,000Price Realized HKD 600,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2013 

The sceptre is finely and naturalistically carved in openwork along the arched shaft with interweaving sprays of lingzhi, narcissus, nandina and peaches wrapped around a central gnarled branch and extending to the head with further peach and prunus branches, the leaves and branches stained green with the fruit, flowers and buds picked out in red or left unstained.

Provenance: Spink & Son, London.

Note: Ivory ruyi sceptres are surprisingly extremely rare given the predilection for ivory carvings and ruyi in the 18th century Imperial court. Compare to a slightly shorter stained ivory example composed of the entwined branches of a gourd plant included in the joint Oriental Ceramics Society and British Museum exhibition, Chinese Ivories from the Shang to the Qing, London, 1984 and illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 160. A stained ivory example carved with blossoming peony branches from the Simon Kwan Collection was included in the Chinese University of Hong Kong exhibition Chinese Ivories from the Kwan Collection, Hong Kong, 1990, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 146. A plain ivory sceptre carved with a similar arrangement of fruiting and flowering branches was sold at Christie's New York, 15 September 2009, lot 225.

Christie'sImportant Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art (Including The Su Zhu An Collection of Inkstones)Hong Kong, 27 November 2013