Lot 1
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A group of three imperial archer's rings Qing dynasty, 18th century

8,000 - 12,000 USD
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comprising a rock crystal ring carved in relief with four medallions, each enclosing a separate character in zhuanshu ('seal script'); a yellow jade ring similarly carved with four detached characters on a floral-diaper ground; and a white jade ring depicting a hunter on horseback pursuing a deer; together with two fine white jade pebble carvings, one with russet skin carved with double-gourds; the other in the form of paired birds grasping lingzhi in their beaks (5)

Catalogue Note

Thumbrings, or archer's rings, were the most important article of jewelry for nomadic tribesmen such as the Manchu, who depended on their skills with the bow and arrow for survival and military supremacy.  Worn to protect the thumb from accidental grazing by the bow-string, these rings developed from functional implements, to ornaments and ultimately to status symbols.