Decorative, Inventory, New acquisitions, Small, perfectly formed

An ivory carving in the form of a pomegranate from the 2nd Opium War


pomegranate best (3)lr

A Chinese ivory carving in the form of a pomegranate with coloured leaf decoration to the quatrefoil body, one panel exquisitely carved in miniature with two figures beneath a tree.

Height 3.5cm.

Price upon application

CITES regulations apply to this ivory carving and a sale can only take place within the European Union or Great Britain. For export further afield, the purchased will require to obtain a licence.


Acquired by Henry Brougham Loch (23 May 1827-20 June 1900), later 1st Baron Loch, in China in 1861. In April 1860, he accompanied Lord Elgin to China as secretary to the embassy despatched to ensure compliance of China with treaty engagements imposed by the Western powers. During the advance on Peking, together with Harry S Parkes, a small party comprising officers, Sikh soldiers and The Times correspondent Thomas Bowlby, was seized by the Chinese whilst flying a flag of truce (Henry Loch was carrying said flag when he was captured). The party was imprisoned in Peking: most were tortured and many died. Loch survived but would never fully recover from his injuries. However, he stayed on and witnessed the retaliatory destruction, on the orders of Lord Elgin, of the old Summer Palace (Yuanminguan), just outside Peking,  in 1861. He returned to Britain with trophies from the campaign, of which this is one, handed down through the Loch family by descent and sold at auction at Eden Hall in March 2015 on the instructions of Sylvia Hawkins, The Rt Hon Lady Loch. The fourth, and last, Lord Loch, her late husband, died in 1981.

In the catalogue of sale the origin of some of the items sold is erroneously attributed to The Boxer Rebellion (the 1st Baron died in England as this event was taking place).  His involvement in The Second Opium War is, however, extensively recorded. A copy of the catalogue recording the sale of this item will be supplied to the buyer.


pomegranate best (4)lr pomegranate best (2)lr pomegranate best (1)lr


Decorative Inventory New acquisitions Small, perfectly formed