29th November 2018
A pair of Chinese cloisonné enamelled figures of elephants, probably Jiaqing period, each caparisoned beast modelled standing four-square with head lowered and turned to the side, the body in white with gilt detailing, decorated with colourful trappings and draped in a saddle cloth, brightly enamelled with a hanging chime and vapours above crashing waves on a turquoise ground, supporting a double-gourd shaped vase with ribbon handles, height 31cm, each raised on a carved hardwood stand, total height 40cm. Note: the elephant in China is one of the seven Buddhist sacred treasures and symbolizes peace. The combination of an elephant supporting a vase on its back is a reference to peaceful times (taiping youxiang), making pairs of elephants carrying vases an important part of the Imperial throne regalia. A similar pair of figures is illustrated by H. Brinker & A. Lutz in 'Chinese Cloisonné: The Pierre Uldry Collection', number 332, and a very similar single figure was sold by Bonhams, Hong Kong, 3rd November 2015, Lot 51.
Hammer price: £15,000
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