Rhinoceros horn magnolia cup will lead Asian art auction at Skinner

A Rhinoceros horn cup with an estimate of $30,000-50,000 is the top lot of Skinner's sale of Asian art due to take place on October 12 in Boston.

The cup dates to around the 17th or 18th century and features a carved magnolia blossom interior, with detailed flowers and lychee branches on the exterior.

Rhino horn magnolia Skinner
The cup stands at seven inches

Rhinoceros cups were a popular gift given between Chinese aristocratic families. Highly symbolic, they are intended to bestow luck and fortune on to the receiver.

In this case, the lychee and magnolia combination symbolizes a wish for wealth, nobility and the birth of many sons.

A similar cup, featuring daoist carvings, is due to auction on October 1.

A nine-panel porcelain inlaid lacquered wood screen dating to the 19th century and featuring depictions of the eight Daoist immortals and Shoulao, god of longevity, is valued at $20,000-30,000.

A wood table screen with a green jade inset features a similar estimate of $20,000-25,000.

A pair of covered cloissone censers (enamelled incense burners) dating to the 19th or 20th century and selling as a single lot are also estimated to bring $20,000-25,000. Structured as four tier square boxes, they stand at 31 inches and are decorated with representations of bats and scrolls.

This has been a strong month for sales of Chinese art, with a total of 15 sales taking place in New York between five major auction houses. Highlights included a Yongle Buddhist bronze and a Zuo Bao Yi Gui vessel, both of which achieved seven figure sums.

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