Fri, 15th Oct 2021 10:00

TWO-DAY AUCTION - Fine Chinese Art / 中國藝術集珍 / Buddhism & Hinduism

 
  Lot 30
 

30

A RARE AGATE ‘RECUMBENT HARE’ PEBBLE, SONG TO EARLY MING DYNASTY
宋至明初罕見瑪瑙臥兔山子

China, 13th-15th century. The superbly polished, translucent stone of a cream color with amber-brown shadings, alternating fingerprints and bands of white, gray, caramel, ochre, and brown veins. The interior of the stone with crystalline striations. The stone is minimally carved, masterfully incorporating both fingerprints and bands to suggest the head and upper body of a recumbent hare.

Provenance: From the Private Collection of a Gentleman in the United Kingdom, acquired by the owner’s father and thence by descent. Old collector’s label with inscription: ‘Agate Pebble of Recumbent Hare. Natural. China.’
Condition: Good condition with old wear, traces of extensive handling and minor erosions as a result, minuscule nicks here and there. The pebble overall applied with a sublime manual polish, one of the best this author has ever seen (and felt).

Weight: 382.0 g
Dimensions: Length 9 cm

With a finely carved and reticulated boxwood base in the form of a gnarled branch with pine and bamboo as well as craggy rockwork. (2)

Expert’s note: While the old collector’s label on the present pebble indicates a previous owner’s assumption that it was not carved at all, this appears to be a stretch. Rather, it is most likely that the lapidary, after finding the exact right stone for their task, carved as little as possible, letting nature do most of the work, to achieve the greatest possible effect in this depiction of a lonely hare rising in the morning under a glowing sun. Of course, the most time-consuming work was achieving the magnificent polish of the stone, which is the highest quality that this author has ever seen.

Literature comparison: For examples of agate animal carvings dating between the Song and Ming dynasties, see a carnelian agate carving of a recumbent lion, dated Ming dynasty or earlier, at Bonhams Hong Kong in Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on 28 May 2019, lot 112, and a carnelian agate carving of a bear, dated Song dynasty or earlier, at Christie’s Hong Kong in The Pavilion Sale on 4 October 2016, lot 29.

宋至明初罕見瑪瑙臥兔山子
中國,十三至十五世紀。潤澤且光滑的半透明石料,帶有琥珀棕色陰影,交替的紋理和白、灰、焦糖、赭色和棕色的紋理。 石料内有結晶條紋。這塊瑪瑙經過最簡約的雕刻,巧妙地結合了紋理,展現了臥兔的頭部和上半身。

來源:英國紳士私人收藏,由其父親購得,保存在同一家族至今。老收藏家的標籤上可見 “瑪瑙臥兔山子 天然 中國”。
品相:狀況良好,磨損,大面積使用痕跡和輕微的侵蝕,到處都是微小的劃痕。山子整體採用了精湛的拋光工藝,這是作者見過(和感覺到)最好的之一。

重量:382.0 克
尺寸:長9 厘米

鏤空雕刻松竹石紋黃楊木底座 (2)

專家注釋:雖然現在山子上的舊收藏家標籤表明前主人認為它天然素面。但這似乎有點牽強。 相反,更有可能的是,寶石匠在找到了合適的石頭後,會盡可能少地進行雕刻,讓山子呈現最自然的一面。如果在早晨明亮的陽光中欣賞這臥兔山子,會達到最大可能的自然效果。當然,最耗時的工作是將石料打磨得非常光滑,這是筆者所見過的山子中最高的品質。

Sold for €4,298

including Buyer's Premium


 

China, 13th-15th century. The superbly polished, translucent stone of a cream color with amber-brown shadings, alternating fingerprints and bands of white, gray, caramel, ochre, and brown veins. The interior of the stone with crystalline striations. The stone is minimally carved, masterfully incorporating both fingerprints and bands to suggest the head and upper body of a recumbent hare.

Provenance: From the Private Collection of a Gentleman in the United Kingdom, acquired by the owner’s father and thence by descent. Old collector’s label with inscription: ‘Agate Pebble of Recumbent Hare. Natural. China.’
Condition: Good condition with old wear, traces of extensive handling and minor erosions as a result, minuscule nicks here and there. The pebble overall applied with a sublime manual polish, one of the best this author has ever seen (and felt).

Weight: 382.0 g
Dimensions: Length 9 cm

With a finely carved and reticulated boxwood base in the form of a gnarled branch with pine and bamboo as well as craggy rockwork. (2)

Expert’s note: While the old collector’s label on the present pebble indicates a previous owner’s assumption that it was not carved at all, this appears to be a stretch. Rather, it is most likely that the lapidary, after finding the exact right stone for their task, carved as little as possible, letting nature do most of the work, to achieve the greatest possible effect in this depiction of a lonely hare rising in the morning under a glowing sun. Of course, the most time-consuming work was achieving the magnificent polish of the stone, which is the highest quality that this author has ever seen.

Literature comparison: For examples of agate animal carvings dating between the Song and Ming dynasties, see a carnelian agate carving of a recumbent lion, dated Ming dynasty or earlier, at Bonhams Hong Kong in Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on 28 May 2019, lot 112, and a carnelian agate carving of a bear, dated Song dynasty or earlier, at Christie’s Hong Kong in The Pavilion Sale on 4 October 2016, lot 29.

宋至明初罕見瑪瑙臥兔山子
中國,十三至十五世紀。潤澤且光滑的半透明石料,帶有琥珀棕色陰影,交替的紋理和白、灰、焦糖、赭色和棕色的紋理。 石料内有結晶條紋。這塊瑪瑙經過最簡約的雕刻,巧妙地結合了紋理,展現了臥兔的頭部和上半身。

來源:英國紳士私人收藏,由其父親購得,保存在同一家族至今。老收藏家的標籤上可見 “瑪瑙臥兔山子 天然 中國”。
品相:狀況良好,磨損,大面積使用痕跡和輕微的侵蝕,到處都是微小的劃痕。山子整體採用了精湛的拋光工藝,這是作者見過(和感覺到)最好的之一。

重量:382.0 克
尺寸:長9 厘米

鏤空雕刻松竹石紋黃楊木底座 (2)

專家注釋:雖然現在山子上的舊收藏家標籤表明前主人認為它天然素面。但這似乎有點牽強。 相反,更有可能的是,寶石匠在找到了合適的石頭後,會盡可能少地進行雕刻,讓山子呈現最自然的一面。如果在早晨明亮的陽光中欣賞這臥兔山子,會達到最大可能的自然效果。當然,最耗時的工作是將石料打磨得非常光滑,這是筆者所見過的山子中最高的品質。

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