A Fine Chinese Ivory Casket of Rectangular Form with Hinged Cover Profusely Carved in Deep Relief with a Scene of Armoured Knights on Horseback in a landscape of Pavilions, Trees, Birds and Figures. The Front and Back with Carved Floral Panels the Sides with Unusual Panels Carved with Fish and Crustacea. The Casket Standing on Feet Carved of Four Ivory Dragons Heads. The Velvet Lined Interior with a Top Tray Lifting to Reveal a Deep Compartment Complete with Original Silver Key
Qing Dynasty, 19th Century
SIZE: 13.5cm high, 19.5cm wide, 15.5cm deep – 5¼ ins high, 7¾ ins wide, 6 ins deep
PROVENANCE: Private Spanish collection
Of all the objects the Chinese in the hongs of Canton could produce for the export market nothing more intrigued Westerners than the carvings of ivory, mother of pearl and tortoiseshell. Extreme patience and skill was needed by the Cantonese craftsmen using unusually sharp instruments, and the high quality of their carving did not falter in 300 years! Carvings from the simplest to the most ornate were greatly valued in the West, then as now, as they captured the imagination of purchasers from all walks of life.