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A VERY RARE LARGE CHINESE CLOISONNE ENAMEL FIGURE OF A CAPARISONED ELEPHANT AND WESTERNER, QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
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A VERY RARE LARGE CHINESE CLOISONNE ENAMEL FIGURE OF A CAPARISONED ELEPHANT AND WESTERNER\nQING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD, The elephant standing four square with head lowered and turned to the right, the trunk curled, the tusks gilt, the grey-white body covered overall pattern of gilt-wire to simulate the folds in the hide, supporting a Westerner seated on an elaborate howdah draped across its back, the howdah-cloth decorated with turquoise florets on a red ground above lotus scroll panels with multicoloured tasselled fringe, the rider with a seperate belt fitting\nQuantity: 2\n51.5cm.; 20¼in.
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notes

The present group of cloisonné elephant supporting a foreign rider is a superb example of the high level of artistic and technical achievement of artists working in the imperial enamel workshop located in the Forbidden City during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor (1735-96). The even and finely executed lines depicting the folds in the skin and the elaborate design on the howdah are testament to the excellence and the perfect control of manufacture of Qianlong cloisonné.

The theme of riding an elephant is particularly auspicious because of the pun on the term qixiang (to ride an elephant), which sounds similar to jixiang (good fortune).

Cloisonné elephants of this type are usually found supporting a kalasha on their back which is the Buddhist symbol of spiritual abundance. Cloisonné elephants with riders are extremely rare, although a group of elephant and two riders holding a kalasha was sold in our London rooms, 12th March 1982, lot 199. The taste for large cloisonné vessels enhanced by foreign figures during Qianlong's reign can also be seen in the monumental imperial cloisonné incense burner and cover, supported by two kneeling foreigners, sold at Sotheby’s Easton Neston Sale, 18th May 2005, lot 771.

dimensions

51.5cm.; 20¼in.


*Vänligen notera att att priset inte är omräknat till dagens värde, utan avser slutpriset vid tidpunkten när föremålet såldes.

*Vänligen notera att att priset inte är omräknat till dagens värde, utan avser slutpriset vid tidpunkten när föremålet såldes.


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