Lapis Elephant with Children



Lapis Lazuli
Twentieth Century
Length 12 inches (30.5 cm)


A symbol of wisdom and fortitude, the elephant is also one of the seven treasures of Buddhism, and is regarded as an animal with very high moral standards. This realistically rendered lapis lazuli recumbent elephant rests peacefully with two boy children sprawling across his back. The artist’s naturalistic approach can be seen most clearly in the rendering of the elephant’s ears and legs where the indented lines representing wrinkles conveys the old age and weight of the elephant. Two long tusks embrace the curled trunk of the animal. The elephant’s form suggests the great strength and astuteness of this animal.

Boulders of lapis lazuli of this size and color are rare in nature and seldom seen. The lapis stone is a rich blue color with gold and calcite inclusions throughout. In our opinion, the high level of workmanship, unusual material and impressive size make this an excellent example of the lapidary arts of the last century.


Reference Number 3261

Price Available Upon Request


With fitted wood stand.

From a Distinguished American Collection.

A jade elephant and two boys is pictured in Zhongguo meishu fenlei quanji: Zhongguo yuqi quanji

6, Qing [Chinese Art Series: Chinese Jades, vol. 6, Qing Li Jiufang, ed. Shijiazhuang: Hebei Art

Publishing, 1991. Page 187, number 270.


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