Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tulsa's Philbrook Museum Exhibits Items That Break Antiques Roadshow Records

Sept. 27,2011

Tulsa, Oklahoma, made news with a record-breaking find recently when the popular PBS show Antiques Roadshow was taped there on July 23. Five 17th-18th century Chinese libation cups carved from rhinoceros horn became the highest appraised items in the history of the program.

The pieces, valued at $1.5 million, are now on loan for exhibit. They are alongside the museum’s collection of Asian carvings at the Philbrook Museum,and are in what was formerly oilman Waite Phillips’ bedroom in his Italian Renaissance villa. Phillips donated the 72-room mansion and its 23 acres to the city of Tulsa in 1938 for use as an art center.

Rhinoceros horn has been treasured in China and is believed to have curative powers and to promote longevity. The craftsmanship with which these cups were created indicates that they were used only by China’s elite, which would include the imperial court and the literati or scholarly class. The centerpiece of the collection is a stunning libation cup with lotus motif and tendril handle on an intricately carved wooden base.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's dumb. The Roadshow was always about people bringing in items they had found or had in the family to be appraised. Any musuem could bring in stunning artwork to be appraised for mega bucks, and I'm sure they had already been appraised and the museum knew the value before they brought them there.