Provenance: Galerie Josette Schulman, Paris, 1971
Notes: The current vessel belongs to a group of rhinoceros horn carvings in the form of archaic jue. Some are carved to resemble the original vessels very closely while others, like the present example, are carved in the style of the bronze prototypes with contemporary adaptations to the form and decoration.
A closely related smaller example of this type in the Harvard University Museums Collection is illustrated by Thomas Fok, Connoisseurship of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 83, no. 36. The splayed legs in particular, display very similar treatment to the decoration on the current vessel. Compare also with a rhinoceros horn jue with chilong clambering around the sides and lingzhi forming the posts or handles in the Palace Museum Collection, Beijing, illustrated in Bamboo, Wood and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Beijing, p. 154, no. 136.
Rhinoceros horn cups of this type were made by cutting the narrow tip of the horn and then pulling it apart after the horn had been made pliable through soaking. The legs are then curved outwards so that the cup can stand securely.
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 1 June 2011, Convention Hall www.christies.com