July 14, 2021 10:00 EST

The Gilded Age

 
  Lot 86
 

86

A Chinese Carved Rhinoceros Horn Libation Cup
17th/18th century

In the form of a hibiscus blossom, the underside with leaves, branches, buds and a qilong at each long end, a lingzhi spray over the head of the qilong at the “spout” end

H: 3 3/8, L: 6 1/2, W: 3 5/8 in.

Provenance

The Collection of Eldridge Reeves Fenimore Johnson (1899-1986), likely collected before 1937.
Thence by descent in the family.

Sold for $12,600
Estimated at $7,000 - $10,000


 

In the form of a hibiscus blossom, the underside with leaves, branches, buds and a qilong at each long end, a lingzhi spray over the head of the qilong at the “spout” end

Provenance

The Collection of Eldridge Reeves Fenimore Johnson (1899-1986), likely collected before 1937.
Thence by descent in the family.

Note

E. R. F. Johnson was a noted explorer, yachtsman and researcher. He was a pioneer in the development of underwater photography and had close ties with the University of Pennsylvania, where a collection of his photographs are preserved. His father was Eldridge Reeves Johnson (1867-1945), the founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company, later RCA. It is very possible this may have been originally acquired by the elder E. R. Johnson, given that he gave Chinese works of art to the University of Pennsylvania Museum in 1920 and 1927, including the large crystal ball said to have belonged to the Dowager Empress Cixi, the pair of carved stone reliefs of the favorite horses of the Tang Emperor Taizong, and numerous jade and coral carvings.

For other examples, see a ‘Hibiscus’ libation cup, dated to the 17th Century, sold at Christie’s, London, November 7, 2011, Lot 5, and another hibiscus-form cup, dated to the 17th/18th Century, sold at Christie’s, New York, March 23, 2011, Lot 1453. See also the cup from the "closet of vanities" collected by John Tradescant the Elder (died 1632), presented to Oxford University by Elias Ashmole in 1683, and now in the Ashmoleon Museum, Oxford University, illustrated in Soame Jenyns, Chinese Art, vol III, 1982, no. 138, p. 173.

Please Note: This item is composed of a regulated material. It is accompanied by documentation identifying material, age and provenance. It is the responsibility of any bidder/buyer to be aware of and comply with any local, state, national and international regulations governing the acquisition and movement of this item. Some countries and states prohibit the importation of items that contain materials from endangered species, including rhinoceros horn. Prospective buyers should familiarize themselves with the relevant customs restrictions prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country. Freeman's does not provide CITES documentation for import or export.

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