3018
3018
AN IMPORTANT LINGBI ROCK WITH A MARBLE BASE
YUAN – MING DYNASTY
Estimate
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 1,875,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
3018
AN IMPORTANT LINGBI ROCK WITH A MARBLE BASE
YUAN – MING DYNASTY
Estimate
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 1,875,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Curiosity III

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Hong Kong

AN IMPORTANT LINGBI ROCK WITH A MARBLE BASE
YUAN – MING DYNASTY
the black pitted stone wrought out to a contorted outline covered with tumbling layers of crevasses, ridges and jagged protrusions, the left side overhanging with an extension resembling the head of a growling beast, the rock of a black colour patinated to an ebony sheen, the white marble stand of squared section and columnar form, carved with stylised lotus lappets and leaves to the base
overall 135.3 cm, 53 1/4  in.
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Catalogue Note

This lingbi garden rock is impressive not only for its large size but also its exceptional quality. Garden rocks such as the present piece are essential elements in the Chinese gardens. The untamed rugged nature of these fantastic rocks was thought to induce inspiration and contemplation. The enduring practice of placing large rocks in gardens for decoration began no later than the Han dynasty, and by the Tang dynasty, connoisseurs started to praise their aesthetic and spiritual attributes. The famous scholar of the Northern Song period Mi Fu (1052-1107), for instance, was a devoted connoisseur of rocks. It is believed that Mi once bowed in admiration before a magnificent rock and addressed him as his 'elder brother'.

Its large size aside, the present rock is of outstanding quality. The extraordinary rock hanging over with jagged edges suggesting the form of a growling beast, interrupted by cascading layers of deep ravines and jagged ridges to create a powerful crumbling effect. The massive columnar white marble stand largely undecorated to draw focus on the colossal effect of the rock, boldly worked on the square base with layers of lotus lappets, leaves and stylised heavy scrolls echoing the cascading structure of the rock. A closely related lingbi example from the imperial gardens in the Forbidden City, Beijing (fig. 1), similarly fashioned with deep crevasses resembling undulating water valleys, is illustrated in David Ren, The Imperial Rocks, Hong Kong, 2000, pp. 84-85, no. 21. Like the present example, the rock was raised on a white marble stand, carved with ferocious dragons characteristic of the Yuan dynasty.

Lingbi stones are found at Mt. Panshi, Lingbi county, Anwei province. The black stones are the most prized. In Dongtian qinglu (Pure Record of a Daoist Cave), Zhao Xigu of the Song dynasty wrote, 'Lingbi stones are located not on the mountains or valleys but deep within the earth. They can be found only by excavating. Their colour is like black lacquer, and they may be laced with thin, white veins like jade.'

Curiosity III

|
Hong Kong