Length: 11 inches (27.94 cm)
The ox and child represent prosperity and continuation of the family lineage. The birth of a male child is heir to the family name and under Confucian thought the continuation of the line. It is a significant symbol in Chinese Art. Similarly, the possession of a water buffalo, used throughout agrarian China to sow and harvest crops was essential to the production of food. A Chinese saying from antiquity suggests, “one is never hungry so long as the ox is healthy.”
This massive boulder of lapis lazuli from Afghanistan is rendered in a traditional subject. The overall coloration is a deep azure blue with white markings. The artist has followed Ming and Qing prototypes to create a compact and rounded form, which utilize the natural shape of the boulder of lapis. The surface is exceptionally well polished. Great attention has been given to the faces of the child as well as the oxen.
This work of art is in our opinion, a superior example of twentieth century Chinese workmanship, subject matter and material.
Reference Number 3262
Ex Collection Mr. C. Chin, Hong Kong, Acquired, 1983.
Ex Collection: Ashkenazie & Co., San Francisco, 1989
Formerly in a Distinguished American Collection, Acquired June 3, 1989.
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