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June 29, 2022, 04:31:39 am
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'Landscape and Figures' Stone Carving

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Author Topic: 'Landscape and Figures' Stone Carving  (Read 78 times)
Wattana
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« on: May 12, 2022, 02:59:03 am »

Hi All,

Sharing one of my very few non-bottle purchases. I was bidding on bottles in the same auction, when this lot caught my eye, and I made a spur-of-the-moment bid.

A Shoushan stone scholar’s desk object, carved in the form of a small boulder, resting on a flat foot, the stone of a lustrous amber tone; one side finely carved with a group of bearded sages gazing at a scroll, beneath a gnarled pine tree and rockwork, a pavilion in the distance; the reverse with more trees under a full moon, and a raised inscription in semi-cursive script, reading '北山白雲裡,隱者自怡悅,石卿作', which may be translated as:

‘Northern mountains amidst white clouds,
 the hermit alone is joyous. By Shiqing’.


Height without stand:    10.0 cm

Signed Shiqing (1924-2013), 20th century

Shoushan stone 壽山石, literally meaning ‘longevity mountain stone’, is a type of agalmatolite quarried from a mountain called Shoushan in the northern suburbs of Fuzhou in Fujian Province. Due to its deep lustrous tones and fine silky texture the stone has long been used for ornamental carving.
During the Yuan and Ming (1271-1644), the stone also came to be sought after for seal carving. Later, craftsmen excelled in various carving styles and many different schools were formed. Types of Shoushan stone carving now include circular, relief, openwork and boyi (shallow relief) carving, as the present example.

Shiqing is the pen name of Guo Maojie. He was awarded the honorary title of "Master of Chinese Arts and Crafts" by the government in recognition of his work.

Provenance: Bonham’s Bond Street, London, 7 November 2019, lot 122

[Note - images rotate the right way up when enlarged]


* Scholar stone (1).jpg (64.8 KB, 800x600 - viewed 17 times.)

* Scholar stone (2).jpg (59.53 KB, 800x600 - viewed 14 times.)

* Scholar stone (3).jpg (46.59 KB, 800x600 - viewed 5 times.)

* Scholar stone (5).jpg (60.28 KB, 800x600 - viewed 7 times.)

* Scholar stone (6).jpg (58.27 KB, 800x600 - viewed 4 times.)

* Scholar stone (7).jpg (58.58 KB, 800x600 - viewed 4 times.)

* Scholar stone (9).jpg (45.24 KB, 800x600 - viewed 5 times.)

* Scholar stone (10).jpg (45.18 KB, 800x600 - viewed 6 times.)

* Scholar stone (11).jpg (58.46 KB, 800x600 - viewed 8 times.)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2022, 03:02:43 am by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

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Joey
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2022, 04:52:11 am »

Dear Tom,

     Wonderful stone and equally fine carving.
I'd have been tempted and bid, as well.
Best,
joey
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George
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2022, 07:54:07 am »

Very beautiful. I have also wanted to purchase one of these. A great item for my desk.

You have a lot of great information with this one.

Thanks for sharing, Tom Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2022, 07:58:35 am »

Tom,

    I think I have a seal of this material.
I bought it in the PRC in October 1988,
and the relatively small seal material was US$180.
The carving of Si Zhouyi Yin [seal of Joey Silver] in archaic calligraphy,
was only US$20 or US$25.
I'll try to find it.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2022, 08:24:49 am »

Tom, I could see something nice like that on my desk!....John
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Joey
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2022, 02:59:57 pm »

Tom, I could see something nice like that on my desk!....John

Couldn't we all!  Roll Eyes Shocked Grin
Joey
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Wattana
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2022, 03:05:58 am »


You have a lot of great information with this one.


I don't want to make you guys envious, but it IS on my desk, and I look at it every day while working at my home computer!  Cheesy

George, I did quite a bit of research on Shiqing's life before reaching the conclusion that this is a genuine Shoushan stone. It was the artist's preferred material - he was born and brought up in the area were this stone is found. I think Bonham's assumed it was soapstone or serpentine.

Tom
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2022, 05:24:55 am »

Hi Tom

Nice find!

Shoushan stone (壽山石) is a soapstone. However, there are many variations and colours. The most sorted after is the Tian Huang (田黄) variety.

Regards.


Richard
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Richard from sunny Singapore
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Wattana
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2022, 05:39:54 am »

Hi Richard,

Thanks for explaining the Chinese nuances of this stone to a Western amateur!  Grin

Best,
Tom
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2022, 06:27:50 am »

Dear Richard,

    I understood that the most sought after type of soapstone is 'Chicken Blood Soapstone'.
Is that 'Tien Huang'?
Mr. Yang of blessed memory had a snuff bottle of Chicken Blood Soapstone with a raised
Yongzheng seal mark and of the period, Palace Workshops.
Amazing bottle. I'd wanted to buy it but was unsuccessful.
Joey
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2022, 07:20:12 am »

Hi Joey

No, that is not.

Tian Huang is a yellow stone, of translucent hue. The scientific name is Larderite.

Chicken Blood Soapstone, on the other hand, can be more greyish in colour with splashes of bright red inclusions, hence, its name.

Regards.


Richard
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2022, 07:25:57 am »

Dear Richard,

     Mr. Yang's bottle was a creamy golden beige with deep blood red inclusions.
Not greyish coloured at all.
Best,
Joey
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richy88
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2022, 07:39:45 am »

Hahaha, looks like you got a golden chicken! They vary in colour, grey being more common. But the common characteristic is that there is always splash(es) of red inclusion.

Lucky you!
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2022, 08:04:15 am »

Dear Richard,

    Not me - Y.F.'s heirs.
I did not get it, sadly. Cry
Best,
Joey
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2022, 09:45:34 pm »

Dear Tom,

The carvings looked exceptionally good. You got it for quite a bargain  Grin


Dear Richard,

The Shoushan shi information makes me want to get a bottle myself.

The 'Golden chicken' and red inclusion, does it looked like this lot in Christies?
https://www.christies.com/lot/lot-4037628

Best,
YT
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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2022, 12:38:55 am »


The carvings looked exceptionally good. You got it for quite a bargain  Grin


Thanks YT,

You are right. It is one of my most satisfying impromptu auction buys.  Wink

Tom
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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2022, 12:44:10 am »


The most sorted after is the Tian Huang (田黄) variety.


For comparison, here is a Tianhuang seal sold at a Bonhams HK auction a few weeks after my acquisition.

Tom


* Tianhuang seal_HK.jpg (181.52 KB, 810x610 - viewed 13 times.)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2022, 12:46:20 am by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2022, 02:44:02 am »

Dear Tom,

I am quite sure that seal is of later dating.
Carvings very bad.

Cheers,
YT
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richy88
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2022, 03:10:39 am »


Dear Richard,

The Shoushan shi information makes me want to get a bottle myself.

The 'Golden chicken' and red inclusion, does it looked like this lot in Christies?
https://www.christies.com/lot/lot-4037628

Best,
YT


Hi Kelvin

The material of this bottle is the more common soapstone. The price is about right, but nothing extraordinary, in my opinion.

You may want to wait for something better.

Regards.


Richard


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Wattana
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2022, 11:55:14 pm »

Dear Tom,

I am quite sure that seal is of later dating.
Carvings very bad.

Cheers,
YT

Hi YT,

Agreed!

Tom
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