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Carved wooden Chinese Dragons

Carved wooden Chinese Dragons  appraisal

 This Chinese wooden carving was purchased in mainland China or Hong Kong in about 1955.  It was made in three pieces. The central largest piece appears to be made of rosewood and consists of six small dragons with ivory teeth and elaborate tails entwined about a seventh larger Dragon.  A few of the teeth are missing.  Their eyes are white with black pupils.  All of the dragons are looking at a stylized sun or flower which is a seperate piece also thought to be rosewood.

The upper piece sits loosely in the central part and is tilted a bit in the pictures but could be easily centered. Some of the detail in the carving looks like flowers (water lilys?). The upper piece has a few small cracks on it and one of the legs of the small dragon in the center is broken (offset) but no pieces are missing.  The base is made from a black wood (ebony?) and shows nine carp swimming in the ocean and spewing water. The center front of the base has a symbol carved in to it (see picture below).  The bottom of the large central piece has several Chinese characters carved into it that my Chinese friends tell me either pre-date todays simplified form or are someones name (the artist?)

 

Would be interested in knowing how old it is.  What wood it is made of.  Whether the symbol in the base piece is decorative or means something.  What the characters on the base translate as.  

Category: 
Asian Art
Condition: 
Good
Medium / Material: 
wood - possibly rosewood with ebony base
Distinguishing marks: 
Older Chinese characters carved on upper
Period: 
Pre -1955
Dimensions: 
Approx 30" wide by 12" deep by 34" high
Weight: 
Approx 14 pounds
History: 
Purchased on mainland China or Hong Kong circa 1955
For Sale: 
Yes
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