A 'MYTHICAL BEAST' SOAPSTONE SEAL BY YANG YUXUAN, 17TH CENTURY
A 'MYTHICAL BEAST' SOAPSTONE SEAL BY YANG YUXUAN
十七世紀 楊玉璇作壽山石雕瑞獸鈕印料 《玉璇》款
Height 1½ in., 4 cm
The seal reduced and the seal face polished away. With minute nicks along the edges of the seal and two minute bruises to the beast, one to the ear. The stone with faint natural fissures and minor surface wear overall.
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Imperial Oriental Art, New York.
Yang Ji (zi Yuxuan) was an outstanding carver active during the mid-17th century. Yang came from Zhangpu in Fujian province, and lived most of his life in Fuzhou. In the District Gazetteer of the area compiled in the Kangxi period, it is noted that "All his figures, birds and animals and his vessels are exquisite in the extreme. Collectors compete to engage him". For a discussion of Yang's work, see Hugh Moss, Arts from the Scholar's Studio, Fung Ping Shan Museum, Hong Kong, 1986, cat. no. 45.
Compare a related soapstone seal, signed Yuxuan, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 4th April 2017, lot 188. See also a soapstone carved mythical beast signed Yuxuan in a similar script, sold Christie's Hong Kong, 1st June 2016, lot 3206.