A spectacular Qing dynasty Chinese elephant hat stand made by the imperial workshops will sell as one of the star lots in Bonhams' Fine Chinese Art auction on November 7 in London.
The piece stands at 19 inches tall and is made from gilt-bronze embellished with semi-precious stones. Hailing from the reign of the Qianlong emperor (1711-1799), a renowned period for the arts in China, it will sell with an £80,000-120,000 ($128,434-192,652) estimate.
The elephant is a symbol of strength and wisdom in Chinese culture, and when combined with a vase - as is found in the hat stand - it represents a wish for peace. The stand also features five "ruyi" sceptres set with semi-precious stones, which are also symbols of peace, strength and wisdom.
"This magnificent work of art embodies the fascination of the Chinese imperial court with European opulence of the 18th century adapted to its own aesthetic taste during the important reign of the Qianlong emperor," commented Bonhams' Asaph Hyman, director of Chinese art.
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