OBJECTS FOR THE SCHOLAR'S DESK, Hong Kong 2012
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Playthings

AN IVORY MELON BOX AND COVER

QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY

LENGTH: 11CM

The box and cover are carved in the form of a melon, with its verdant leaves and vines undercut, all issuing from a single branch and extending around the sides. Two insects are clambering on the fruit. The box opens to reveal two erotic scenes. The interior shows traces of blue and pink pigment. The outside of the box and cover is patinated to a warm tone.

SIMILAR EXAMPLE:
An example of an ivory melon-shaped box with insects crawling on the surface and revealing a hidden scene inside is published in Chinese Ivories from the Shang to the Qing, pp. 156-157, Catalogue No. 189.

清十八世紀 象牙瓜型春宮蓋盒