Arte Asiatica e Orientale

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IMPERIAL IVORY BOX OF CIRCULAR SHAPE. CHINA, QIANLONG, 18TH CENTURY


Superb ivory box of circular shape, very sensitively carved with landscapes, figures of scholars, pagodas, plants and auspicious emblems. On the lid, two chinese characters that may be translated as "(made) to emulate rhinoceros" are clearly indicating that this museum quality box has been made with the intention of emulating a rhinoceros horn prototype: this inscription, toghether with the astonishing quality of the low - relief sculpture (virtuosistically ordered by several levels of carving) makes more than likely an imperial origin of this marvellous work of art, most probably gone out from the imperial workshops of zaobanchu in the Forbidden Palace.  China, Qianlong period, 18th century, H. cm. 13