A rare pair of fine quality Chinese ivory model pagodas


A rare pair of fine quality Chinese ivory model pagodas



Canton Circa 1780-1800







Size: 66cm high, 25cm wide, 29cm deep
Canton is a port on the Pearl River upstream from Hong Kong and Macao
and was the natural entrepí´t for China. The Chinese emperors were
keen to keep their nation closed to foreigners at the same time as
wishing to profit from their trade so they encouraged merchants to use
Canton as the outside link in a sophisticated internal trading system,
thereby only exposing Canton to the scrutiny of outsiders. By 1729 all
foreign trade had been restricted to Canton.
Chinese craftsmen were skilled ivory workers and a substantial amount
of ivory from India, South East Asia and even Africa was shipped to
Canton from the earliest times. The arrival of European merchants
increased the supply and the carvers who had largely worked for the
substantial domestic market began increasingly to export their work.
Ivory fans were made only for the export market, as were models of
boats and pagodas such as these.
John Barrow in his book 'Travels in China' 1804 stated that 'of all the
mechanical arts that in which they seem to have attained the highest
degree of perfection is the cutting of ivory'.
These pagodas are in exceptional condition, complete with their garden
terraces, trees, tables with precious objects, scholar's rocks, bells
and Buddha's. There is a Cantonese ivory boat in the collections of the
Victoria and Albert museum, which is of the same high quality and is
detailed as being brought back to England in 1803 by Mr Richard Hall.

A rare pair of fine quality Chinese ivory model pagodas

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ENQUIRIES

+44 (0) 207 689 7500

+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921

enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk
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ENQUIRIES

+44 (0) 207 689 7500

+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921

enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk