OBJECTS FOR THE SCHOLAR'S DESK, Hong Kong 2023
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Playthings

A LARGE BOXWOOD RUYI SCEPTRE

QING DYNASTY, YONGZHENG PERIOD (1722-1735)

LENGTH: 44.5CM

The curved shaft of the sceptre is masterfully carved in the form of a gnarled twisted stalk issuing three lingzhi heads in openwork forming the terminal, with a bat perched atop the largest fungus. The central shaft is further wreathed by intertwining branches issuing furled leaves and succulent pomegranates in high relief, all terminating to a further cluster of lingzhi fungus at the base. The wood richly patinated to a warm caramel-brown tone.

The imperial workshops were prolific in wood carvings of the finest quality to cater the court’s taste under the reigns of Yongzheng and Qianlong Emperors. Such examples produced during the Yongzheng period were characterised and distinguished from its succeeding reign by their simple elegance and masterful naturalism, as evident in the present example. A closely related imperial boxwood example, with a similar treatment to the curved shaft in jagged contours and bearing a four-character ‘Yongzheng nianzhi’ 雍正年製 mark, is published in Arts from the Scholar’s Studio , Hong Kong, 1986, pp. 42-43, Catalogue No. 7.

PROVENANCE
A Japanese Private Collection, formed during the Meiji-Taisho periods (1868-1926)

清雍正 黃楊木雕石榴靈芝紋如意