A pair of small Cloisonné enamel elephants

Qing dynasty, Qianlong period, 1736-1795 AD, China

Length 6.8 x Width 3 x Height 7cm/ L 2.68 x W 1.18 x H 2.76 inches

Each elephant stands four-square the head looking forward, its truck curled between gilt tusks and wearing an elaborate jewelled head dress. The elephant’s leaf-shaped ears and body are decorated with wire patterns to convey the veins and the skin folds. Each carries a tasselled saddle rug on a turquoise ground centred by a pair of ‘red bats’ (great fortune) amidst clouds above stylised rocks and waves. The gilt saddle is surmounted by a baluster vase decorated with a band of ruyi heads around the flaring top and vivid coloured flowers around the body.

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