consisting of sixteen plaques: eight rectangular, two rectangular with a rounded side, four tear-shaped and two small rectangular; carved with frolicking deer, the rectangular plaques each containing bucks and does in a pine forest amid lingzhi, the tear-shape plaques containing a single deer, and the small rectangular plaques with lingzhi, all finely carved in openwork on two planes, the bottom layer reticulated with a fine network of cruciforms
Compare a closely related set of twenty white jade belt plaques sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 19th January 1988, lot 414; and a set of seven comprised of deer and dragon plaques sold in our London rooms, 9th June 1992, lot 60. For two sets depicting dragons, see a set of nineteen illustrated in Zhongguo meishu quanji, vol. 9, Beijing, 1991, pl. 281; and a set of fifteen belt plaques, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. R.H.R. Palmer, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 17th January 1989, lot 920.
This piece embodies the fine workmanship of carvers working during the Ming dynasty and the two-layer openwork carving is characteristic of the period.
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