The rhinoceros horn carving depicts the Han dynasty Imperial official and envoy Zhang Qian on a raft in the form of a hollow log. The figure is seated clutching a fly whisk in his left hand, amidst dense dense branches of flowers and lotus.
A similar rhinoceros horn example of Zhang Qian on a raft in the collection of the Taipei National Palace Museum is published in R. Soame Jenyns’ book Chinese Art III, New York, 1982, p. 175, Catalogue No. 143.
A Japanese Private Collection