Hei-Chi, Jades from the Hei-Chi Collection, Beijing, 2006, p. 176.
The present piece is outstanding for the exceptional depth and quality of carving. While the figure embodies characteristics of Ming carved mythical figures, such as the almost deliberately archaistic style of the dramatic pose and exaggerated features, the carver's dexterity with the medium is apparent in the intricately modelled faces, paws and floral spray. Compare a larger carving of a recumbent beast with a lingzhi fungus in its mouth beside its young, included in the exhibition China: Eine Weige der Veltkultur, Roemer und Pelizaeus-Museum, Hildersheim, 1994, cat. no. 228, and sold at Christie's London, 7th November 2006, lot 12; and another figure group with the larger creature holding a peony branch, sold in our London rooms, 29th May 1973, lot 204.
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