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image L90

Carved scene featuring mountains, pine trees (symbolic of long life), a temple and figures engaged in scholarly pursuits (unrolling a scroll, reading etc.), 18th century

Carved soapstone

Museum number: L90

Curatorial note

This small carving would have been intended as a desk-top item, to induce meditative thoughts. It is chipped at the right-hand end so a section (perhaps not large) is missing. It could conceivably have been a brush-rest. The quality of the carving is not high. The Soane Museum 'AB' inventory of 1837 described this work as A Small Model of a Temple, Tree and Figures - Rice Paste. It was later described, erroneously, as being made of Jade.

We are grateful to Dr Jessica Harrison-Hall of the British Museum for her help with this entry.


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk