3451
3451
A RARE PAIR OF CLOISONNE ENAMEL ‘ELEPHANT AND VASE’ GROUPS
QING DYNASTY, EARLY 18TH CENTURY
Estimate
1,800,0002,500,000
JUMP TO LOT
3451
A RARE PAIR OF CLOISONNE ENAMEL ‘ELEPHANT AND VASE’ GROUPS
QING DYNASTY, EARLY 18TH CENTURY
Estimate
1,800,0002,500,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Gems of Chinese Art – The Speelman Collection II

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Hong Kong

A RARE PAIR OF CLOISONNE ENAMEL ‘ELEPHANT AND VASE’ GROUPS
QING DYNASTY, EARLY 18TH CENTURY
each superbly cast in the form of a caparisoned elephant standing sturdily foursquare with its head turned to one side, supporting on its back a cloisonné enamel saddle beneath a vase of meiping form, the exterior of the hollow turquoise-ground vessel decorated with large lotus blooms below a floral frieze encircling the waisted neck, the gilt animal portrayed with a pair of crescent eyes flanked by large ears with thin veins running through, above a long curling trunk between a pair of long tapering tusks, its corpulent body detailed with characteristic wrinkles and adorned with ornamental trappings set with semi-precious stones, further depicted draped with a cloisonné enamel tasselled caparison vibrantly decorated with bats flying amidst swirling clouds and above rocks and crashing waves
26.5 cm, 10 3/8  in.
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Provenance

Collection of Walter and Lucie Rosen, purchased in the 1920s-1940s.
Collection of Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.

Catalogue Note

Ceramic models of elephants carrying receptacles on their back were already made in China prior to the Tang dynasty and were used as tomb figures to enhance the quality of after-life of their owner. Porcelain figures of elephants with vases on their backs and made for more decorative purposes first appeared in yingqing ware during the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), such as the one sold in our New York rooms, 4th December 1984, lot 265. Those attributed to the Kangxi period (1662-1722) are the first ones specially made for export to Europe, such as the model included in the exhibition Ausstellung Chinesischer Kunst, Berlin, 1929, cat.no. 947 and sold in our London rooms, 25th March 1974, lot 12.

Luxurious cloisonne enamel models of elephants emerged in the early Qing dynasty. A pair of identical cloisonne enamel and gilt-bronze elephants with Qianlong reign marks was sold in our London rooms, 1st July 1969, lot 31. Compare also another pair of unmarked elephants sold in these rooms, 8th October 2010, lot 2618.

Gems of Chinese Art – The Speelman Collection II

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Hong Kong