Late 18th century hardstone, mother-of-pearl and lacquer table screen, estimate £15,000-20,000 at Bonhams.

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Estimated at £15,000-20,000, it comes by descent from the family of Edward Gordon Lowder (1862-1942) who served with the Imperial Maritime Customs, later known as the Chinese Maritime Customs.

Elephants have long been a popular theme at the Qing court and the white elephant has strong Buddhist associations. This double-sided screen is related to a series of screens and boxes from the Palace Museum in Beijing. A closely related box in the collection is similarly decorated with an elephant bearing a vase surrounded by foreigners paying tribute.