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Couple of carved Rhino horns
MPE 86417, 86418
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This magnificent couple is a precious example of a high level "Canton style" carving on rhino horns. The intricately carved motives are inspired by the classical iconographic Chinese themes: animals and Taoist figures in a landscape with pavilions and plants entirely covering the surface of the items.

History of the Object
A particular style of Chinese art carving named Canton style was developed between the 17th and 18th century in Canton City. Many specialized ateliers produced precious carved items made from various materials: ivory, rhino horn, tortoise shell, and semiprecious stones. The overabundant decoration, a sort of horror vacui, fascinated western collectors and became one of the best known traits of the so-called “chinoiseries”. The horns were stored among the grand-ducal collections in Palazzo Pitti, Florence and became part of the royal properties.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Rhinoceros horn 
Measurements
Width 16 cm. Length 68 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
18th Century; 1779. 
Function
 
Acquisition
Gift of King Vittorio Emanuele III, 1921 
Copyright
©Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Acknowledgements
Text: Loretta Paderni, Nadia Fiussello Photo: Giorgio Bronchi, Fabio Naccari ©Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Owner
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma State property, Italy 
Museum
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico  
Credit line
 

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