|China, 19th century|
This extraordinary ruyi sceptre is made from intricately carved tortoiseshell. The joins are not apparent and it is possible that the handle and the head both have been fashioned from single pieces of shell. The sceptre itself has been carved with delicate open-work all over with many cranes (鹤 ) flying amid overlapping foliage heavily laden with small fruit. Many of the birds have been carved in such a way that they move freely within the overlapping design work but nonetheless remain trapped within the structure.
The sides of the head of the ruyi, which is in stylised cloud form, are engraved with cross-hatching motif.
This item can be sent to anywhere in the world with full CITES documentation.
|Location of Origin: Asia|
|Dimensions: length: 30cm, height: 7.3cm, weight: 106g|
|Primary Classification: Asian Art : Chinese Antiques|
|Ruyi means 'as you wish'. Accordingly, ruyi sceptres were imbued with talismanic properties. As such they were presented to bestow good fortune. The shape and symbolism of ruyi sceptres developed over a long time. Possibly the form has its origins in back scratchers used by deities of the Buddhist pantheon. These functional items had evolved into items that were both ornamental and auspicious by the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The form was adopted by the Daoists and it became associated with the longevity fungus (lingzhi) and was converted into a secular good luck charm. The Yongzheng Emperor revived the auspicious tradition when he commissioned examples made from precious and other materials. The Qianlong Emperor extended the use and symbolism when he presented ruyi sceptres to courtiers to mark New Year celebrations and imperial birthdays.|
Rawski E. & J. Rawson (eds.), China: The Three Emperors 1662-1795, Royal Academy of Arts, 2005.
|Provenance: UK art market|
|Price:||Item has been sold.|
|Offered By:||Items for sale from dealers we worked with previously|
121 Mount Vernon, Boston, MA 02108 USA
Item has been sold.
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