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Lot 112: A LINGBI SCHOLAR'S ROCK
December 8, 2016
Prague 1, Czech RepublicLive Auction
Stones of this type harmonised with the aesthetics and philosophy of Chinese scholars, who placed them in their gardens. Chinese gardens are miniaturised versions of landscapes, in Chinese "shan shui" (mountains and water). Therefore, stones and ponds are basic elements of gardens. This affinity for unusually shaped stones dates back to the Song emperor Huizong, who placed irregular rocks, excavated from Lake Taihu, in his garden, and his example has been followed for centuries. A perfect scholar’s rock should be asymmetrical, with holes and crevices, and of course unworked. Smaller examples were used to decorate interiors, which is the case with this finely shaped specimen with a deeply ridged face and back. The base is carved from cultivated, hard Phoebe nanmu wood.
China, Qing Dynasty. Height 44.5 cm.