Accompanied by GIA Identification Report Number 6193650272.
This incredibly rare, museum quality precious opal carving depicts The Old Man of the South Pole with a child and a deer.
GIA Identification Report Number: 6193650272
The carving weighs over 4,600 carats!!! (929.1 grams)
It measures 216 x 95 x 61mm. (8 1/2" x 3 3/4" x 2 3/8")
The natural, precious white opal was originally mined from Coober Pedy, South Australia, and was likely sent to Hong Kong for carving in the 1970s. It displays a play-of-color that features flashes of green, blue, violet, and purple.
The intricacy of the carving is simply amazing. It's possible to spend hours admiring the details of the figure.
The carving has been luster enhanced, which means it has a wax coating to prevent it from drying out and cracking. There is an area at the base of the carving that has been repaired.
The Old Man of the South Pole
In Chinese mythology, there's a tale of longevity that features The Old Man of the South Pole, also known as Shòu Xīng.
The Old Man of the South Pole is a Chinese mythological character that personifies the brightest star of the constellation, Carina. This star is named Canopus, which is also known as the Star of Longevity.
In this tale, there are two old men playing chess under a mulberry tree. The man sitting to the north of the chess board is Běi Dǒu 北斗, or the Northern Dipper. It is Běi Dǒu who records the date of death. The old man sitting to the south of the chess board is Nán Dǒu 南斗, or the Southern Dipper. Nán Dǒu records the date of birth.
These two men are visited by a youth who is destined to die at the age of 19. The young man brings gifts of wine and deer meat to the old men and, in exchange, is granted the gift of longevity, as Nán Dǒu transposed the characters, altering the young boy's date of death from 19 years of age to 91 years of age.