The Art and Orchid GalleryThe Art and Orchid Gallery
Chinese Lapidary Sweetmeat Box w Archaic Symbols

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All Items: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Hardstones: Pre 1980: item # 1179637

Please refer to our stock # 493AOG when inquiring.

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The Art and Orchid Gallery
7896 SE Peach Way
Jupiter, Florida

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Chinese Lapidary Sweetmeat Box w Archaic Symbols
The Art and Orchid Gallery's large carved verde antico marble sweetmeat box is an example of elaborate Chinese lapidary art.[97A, 63B] Although this is a 20th Century carving, a carved marble jar from the Shang Dynasty (1523-1027 B.C.) with similar archaic symbols is known.[107C] This Shang marble jar depicts a t'ao-t'ieh mask, or devil mask.[42D, 71E] The mask design is made of ancient Chinese totems of bird, serpent and mammal worship. They were used extensively on bronze ritualistic vessels and later developed into mythical beasts, such as, the dragon and the phoenix.[42F] Our sweetmeat box depicts some of these archaic symbols, namely bird handles, serpent legs and other birds or dragons without legs. The box and cover have extensive relief lapidary work of legless elephants supported and surrounded by curved arabesque patterns like those of archaic dragons and birds of Shang and Chou bronze vessels.[71G, 42F] Although Buddhism in China is frequently associated with elephants ,when seen with sacred attributes, the elephant was long used in ancient China before Buddhism on bronze vessels and as seal characters.[159H, 86 I] Much of the beauty of this piece is its color and soft shine patina, letting the sharp relief depth show clearly. Marble is a metamorphized limestone which makes it coarsely crystallized and takes a high polish. It is, therefore, frequently used for decorative purposes.[96J] The piece is in excellent condition. It comes with a carved, fitted lacquered stand. It is a great piece of lapidary art from probably late 20th Century China. References available upon request. Size with Stand: 16 3/4" H x 13"; Weight: ~ 22.5 pounds;

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