Mythical Elephant Stone Mortar

c. 1850
$1,880 USD SOLD
W: 9.5" D: 7.25" H: 6.25"
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Hand-carved from a single block of limestone, this 19th-century sculptural container was originally used as a mortar, possibly in a Chinese apothecary to grind herbal medicines. With a clean, rounded form, the mortar is devoid of decoration, save for a mythical creature carved into the handle. The bat-like creature is carved with the head of an elephant in its mouth, in reference to the bashe dragon, a serpentine mythological creature that swallows elephants whole. The striking scene evokes the Chinese idiom "ba she tun xiang," a cautionary phrase that warns against excessive greed and consumption. With a beautifully aged surface texture that calls to be touched, this stone mortar looks enchanting as a planter filled with flowers or lush greenery.

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Elizabeth Krueger | Elizabeth Krueger Design

“PAGODA RED was extremely supportive in helping to pull accessory options together for the Lake Forest Showhouse. After providing them with details and our vision on how we were looking to finish our space, Laurene helped curate options that made it easy for us to edit and finalize. It's also no surprise that the unique pieces we used in our showhouse space were some of the first to sell.”

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