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Subject:Carved Ivory Peanut with Chinese Words
Posted By: Abel Tue, Dec 22, 2020 IP: 49.245.99.96

A carved peanut set on a 5 cm diameter dish of probably ivory. Height is 12 cm from base of ivory stand to top of dish, peanut is 2 cm high with minuscule Chinese words carved on top right peanut.
Item in family for over 65 years.
Interesting to know what these Chinese words are? Any comment on possible origin and value welcome.







Subject:Re: Carved Ivory Peanut with Chinese Words
Posted By: Mark Adams Wed, Dec 23, 2020

Hi Abel,
Unfortunately your pictures are not clear enough for me to provide you with a honest opinion.
[email protected]

Subject:Re: Carved Ivory Peanut with Chinese Words
Posted By: I.Nagy Wed, Dec 23, 2020

It is a five-character poem titled "Poem of Peace of Mind" (心安吟) written by Shao Yong (1011-1077) Northern Song poet and Rationalist scholar.

心安身自安 身安室自寛 心與身倶安 何事能相干
誰謂一身小 其安若泰山 ......... ..........
If your heart is quiet, your body will be naturally stable,
If your body is stable, your house will be large,
If your heart and body are both stable, what else will bother you,
Who said that someones's body is small,
As long as it is peaceful, it is as the Mount Tai
....................etc.

Colophon,
黄老秀作 - Made Huang Laoxiu

Unidentifiable artist,

With regards,
I.Nagy

Subject:Re: Carved Ivory Peanut with Chinese Words
Posted By: Abel Sun, Jan 03, 2021

Thank you Nagy for an informative reply. As a kid I was wondering what's the writing on the peanut. I now have the answer in my old age.
Much appreciated sir.

Subject:Re: Carved Ivory Peanut with Chinese Words
Posted By: Bill H Wed, Dec 23, 2020

Ivory and bone carvers are known for showing off their skills in this manner everywhere in Asia I've been where Chinese characters form a principal basis of the local written language, including in the major Chinese population centers or 'Chinatowns'. The really good carvers know how to emulate 'Schreger lines'to a degree, which your photos aren't sharp enough to identify, at least for my eyes, especially in the presence of dark spots that might be the capillaries associated with bone. This is not to say that more experienced collectors can't cast an opinion, though.

However, I do have another example of the art (links below from a 2016 thread), which I purchased in Asia several decades ago and believe may be a product of Taiwan, based on the leaf-shaped red seal. It is a 5.5-inch tall vase with incised scene of the legendary star-crossed lovers known as the 'Weaver Girl and Cowherd', who ticked-off the Queen Mother of the West and were banished to either side of the Milky Way. This vase has some suspicious dark spots too so perhaps we'll both learn something from your posting.

Best regards,

Bill H.




URL Title :Weaver girl & cowherd vase


Subject:Re: Carved Ivory Peanut with Chinese Words
Posted By: Abel Sun, Jan 03, 2021

Thank you Bill for your learned opinion. On closer examination I am inclined to agree that it's a bone carving.

Best regards


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