BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A masterfully carved Chinese rhinoceros horn libation cup from the 17th or 18th century, just 4 inches tall and fitted to a reticulated teakwood base, sold for $318,600 ($68,000 more than the high estimate) at a sale of Asian antiques held March 17-18 by Elite Decorative Arts.
The rhinoceros horn was of a gently flaring form. It was finely relief carved as a wooded jungle and rendered in high relief to depict a village scene with trees and people working and resting. One side showed scholars climbing the side of a rock mountain, with many types of trees. The other side depicted a family at the base and a tall peony tree growing alongside a rock.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices include buyer’s premiums.
- Two other lots topped the $100,000 mark: a large, five-panel, 18th century Chinese throne screen made from Zitan wood brought $153,400, and a large rhinoceros horn from the 18th or 19th century with no carving at all, measuring 26 inches in length and 18 1/4 inches in girth at its widest point, realized $109,250.
- Many examples of imperial quality Chinese hand-carved red coral group figures were offered. Dating to the Ch’ing dynasty, the carved figures varied in size from 7 inches to about 17 inches in height. They were perched on fitted wooden bases, and some even boasted silver inlay. A 17 1/2-inch tall Chinese hand-carved red coral maiden group figure depicting two maidens with flowers and birds hammered for $36,800; and a fine Chinese red coral immortals figure group depicting immortals, servants, pine trees, leaves, a stork and flowers, finished at $31,050.
- A Chinese hand-carved red coral figure from the late Qing dynasty, depicting a mother holding flowers with her two daughters playing at her side, masterfully carved and with incredible detail throughout, breezed to $31,050; and a massive (19 inches tall, 10 inches wide) carved Chinese red coral figure depicting Guan Yin with four birds, changed hands for $31,050.
- A carved Chinese red coral group figure depicting three children holding up a fourth child who is riding them like a horse, finely detailed throughout and signed at the bottom “Zhu Yun,” from the Cultural Revolution period, rose to $19,550; and a 20th century Chinese relief carved coral group figure of seven children playing around a tree and table made $14,160.
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