Chinese rhinoceros horn cup up 144% on estimate

A Chinese rhinoceros horn cup more than doubled its estimate at Skinner's Asian Works of Arts auction on October 12, selling for $122,400 against a $50,000 high valuation - an increase of 144%.

The cup dates to the 17th or 18th century and is carved into the shape of a magnolia blossom, surrounded by flowers and lychee branches.

Rhinoceros cups were given as gifts between Chinese aristocratic families. Highly symbolic, they are meant to bestow good luck and fortune on the recipient.

Rhino horn magnolia Skinner
The $122,400 cup stands at seven inches

The combination of lychee and magnolia symbolises a desire for wealth, nobility and the birth of sons.

Two Jizo of the Six Paths of Enlightenment figures made $33,000 against an $8,000-10,000 estimate - up 229%. The figures are from early 18th century Japan and depict Jizo, the protector of children and travellers.

The pieces are carved from wood, and feature glass urna on the forehead and painted highlights.

A pair of cloisonne censers also featured at the Boston sale, each made up of a three tiered pavilion-shaped structure adorned with dragon and lotus motifs.

Censers are large incense burners, used in religious or ceremonial events.

They also performed better than expected, achieving $24,000 against a $16,000-20,000 estimate.

Another pair of censers, featuring designs of bats and scrolls, also made $24,000.

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