Chinese Bamboo Mountain Carving, ca. 1890
My father was in the Army after World War II, and he was stationed in Japan. And every week he would get his rations, which cost $2 and included a carton of American cigarettes. He would take the cigarettes to a little store and sell them for Japanese yen. And he would get about $12 to $14 in yen, depending on the week. So, one week he took them in and, in turn, he bought this for what he got for his carton of cigarettes.
APPRASIER: This is bamboo. This was designed to be put on a table for the scholar to contemplate, to look at. And what it depicts is a congregation of scholars at this monastery that's perched in the mountain itself. And they are engaged in conversation and walking, and you can see pine trees, and the very heavily cut and carved work here. They carved under all the way through. And as we turn it, we can even see, at one point, scholars sitting at a table, which looks like a table of rock. And they're sitting and perhaps playing a game. There are also mountain goats. And very close there, you can see some cranes. Now, this was a section of bamboo that's very thick. Very unusual to find one this thick. Because it's so heavy and thick, it has cracked, but that doesn't affect the piece. It's fine that way. We don't see these much. It's extremely unusual. A few of us have talked about the dating and the value. And we think it maybe dates later in the Qing Dynasty, 19th to the beginning of the 20th century. And as to the value, today in the auction market, we think this should bring between $10,000 and $15,000.
Oh, my gosh. Wow. (laughs) Wow. I need to take good care of it.
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