Chinese Agate Carvings


Garment hook with dragon head terminal elelgantly formed in an undulating curve with relief and etching of stepped archaistic stylized scroll with striated rhombus motifs; Agate; 18th century; China. 4.75 inches (12.1 cm) long.


Agate scholar vessel of rich coffee-color with caramel inclusions in the form of a gnarled prunus trunk interlaced with branches and blossoms; Chalcedony; 18th century; China. Provenance: from an anonymous museum de-acquisition. . 3.75 inches (9.5 cm) high.


A rare agate plaque superbly carved with an amber-colored layer with an openwork design of dual dragons chasing a pearl with shou character; a translucent layer serves as a backing; 18th century Qing dynasty; China. 2.75 inches (7 cm) long.



A fine agate scholar water vessel in the form of a sitting crane; overlaid carnelian crown with a carnelian stopper in the form of longevity peaches; 18th century Qing dynasty; China. 2.63 inches (6.7 cm) long.


A fine agate scholar brushwasher superbly carved from a rare agate specimen in rich honey brown tone; a whimsical frog resting atop the leaf with its left hind foot leaning against the furled rim of the lotus leaf; agate; 18th century Qing dynasty; China. 3.25 inches (8.3 cm) long.


A fine agate melon-form scholar incense box carved in the round depicting a bean-shaped melon; areas of russett inclusions used to highlight a butterfly and a melon blossom; the theme of butterfly and melon represents a pun, 'guotie mien mien' (may you be blessed with plentiful offspring); fitted zitan stand and Japanese tomobako (wooden storage box); Chalcedony; 18th century; China. 3 inches (7.6 cm) long.


An attractive agate water coupe/brushwasher in double-gourd form; carved with openwork treatment and white inclusion expertly used to highlight its gnarled stem with furling leaf and two hovering bats; Qing dynasty (1644-1911); China. 5.5 inches (14 cm) long.  


Agate scholar brushwasher in the shape of furling lotus leaves; openwork treatment with matching hardwood stand; Chalcedony; 19th century; China. 5 inches (12.7 cm) long.

Provenance: from the collection of Terrell Mexdorf.


Last updated 06/09/2003   Zhou Yi