April 8, 2021 10:00 EST

Asian Arts

 
  Lot 97
 

97

A Chinese carved amber figure of a sage and acolytes

Carved of two large pieces of amber, the group depicted atop a rocky base lapped by waves, the seated sage adorned in a dragon robe, with his right hand proper stroking his long beard, his left hand bearing a ruyi scepter, flanked by the two acolytes bearing a circular box and a stack of books, with a pierced wood stand carved with cloud scrolls.

H: 8 in. (without stand)

Provenance: Property formerly in the Collection of Eldridge Reeves Fenimore Johnson (1899-1986)
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.

Sold for $25,200
Estimated at $1,000 - $1,500


 

Carved of two large pieces of amber, the group depicted atop a rocky base lapped by waves, the seated sage adorned in a dragon robe, with his right hand proper stroking his long beard, his left hand bearing a ruyi scepter, flanked by the two acolytes bearing a circular box and a stack of books, with a pierced wood stand carved with cloud scrolls.

H: 8 in. (without stand)

Provenance: Property formerly in the Collection of Eldridge Reeves Fenimore Johnson (1899-1986)
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.

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