well carved with a standing boy with a short tuft of hair on his head, holding a long stalk of lotus wrapped around his shoulders, his other hand resting on the head of a seated deer, the background finely reticulated in openwork, the stone of creamy-grey tone with a tinge of russet in the centre
For figures carved in a similar style, see one of a boy with lotus flowers, in the Qing Court collection and still in Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Jadeware (II), Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 84; and a carving of a girl and boy holding lotus branches, in the Thomas Wei Seu King collection, included in the exhibition Exquisite Jade Carving, Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1996, cat. no. 9. A later carving of a boy holding a peach and standing next to a deer, from the Zhirouzhai collection, was sold in these rooms, 8th October 2008, lot 2308.
The deer is symbolic of longevity, while the combination of a boy carrying a lotus represents the wish for the continuous birth of distinguished sons.
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