Chinese Carved Sumatran Rhinoceros Horn Wine Cup
Chinese Carved Sumatran Rhinoceros Horn Wine Cup
Chinese Carved Sumatran Rhinoceros Horn Wine Cup
Chinese Carved Sumatran Rhinoceros Horn Wine Cup

Chinese Carved Sumatran Rhinoceros Horn Wine Cup

1600 to 1700 China

Offered by Finch & Co

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A Rare Chinese Carved Sumatran Rhinoceros Horn Wine Cup of Porcelain Shape
Old Smooth Rich Honey Coloured Patina with Black Dappling
Late Ming – Early Qing Dynasty / 17th Century

Size: 5cm high, 8.5cm wide - 2 ins high, 3¼ ins wide
Sumatran Rhinoceros horn has natural black markings within the core of the horn and these were considered by Chinese craftsmen as important decorative elements. The taste for honey coloured Rhinoceros horn carvings went out of fashion during the 18th century with mid brown becoming the favoured colour.
The Chinese were accustomed for more than two thousand years to drink wine from small round bowls without handles and many still do so today. It is not known when Rhinoceros horn vessels were first brought into Europe, but in the early 16th century the first living one horned Rhinoceros was brought to Europe and presented as a gift to King Manuel of Portugal. In 1515 it created a sensation and people flocked to see its armour like body with a single horn rising from its snout. In Germany Albrecht Dürer having been sent sketches and a detailed description from Portugal created a fabulous drawing that was to become a famous woodcut. The strange and wonderful creature depicted remained a popular image and subject for European artists for more than 200 years.
Medium
Rhinoceros Horn
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