Lot 1829 Lot 1830 Lot 1831 Lot 1832

photographer New Owner.
Water, Pine and Stone Retreat. Qianlong  Large picture | Small picture
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 8 October 2009: Lot 1832 

modelled after an archaic bronze wine vessel, the deep U-shaped body rising to a flared mouth with an elongated channelled spout opposite a slightly shorter rounded end, the rim set with a pair of posts with 'sun-whorl' knops, the exterior carved in low-relief with two pairs of confronting archaistic dragon and phoenix, one pair centred on a loop handle, opposite the second pair separated by a flange, set between key-fret bands at the mouth and the base, all supported on three splayed blade legs with stylised cicada motifs, the base inscribed with a four-character Qianlong nianzhi mark and the character yi ('one'), the stone of translucent spinach green tone with darker green inclusions, wood stand (fitted box)
12 CM.

Exhibition of Chinese Applied Art, City of Manchester Art Gallery,
Manchester, 1913, cat.no. 112 or 113 (one of a pair , one of them

Jade carvings after the archaic bronze ritual vessel jue are rare although a closely related pair, also with a Qianlong reignmark and of the period, from the von Oertzen collection, is illustrated in S. Howard Handford, Jade. Essence of Hills and Streams, Johannesburg, 1969, pl D3. The von Oertzen vessels are also incised with the numbers nine and ten, respectively, on the base. Handford, ibid., p. 119, notes that the legs and the spout of the bronzes were somewhat longer proportionally, and the tail somewhat shorter, while the columns, probably designed to hold a strainer, were set nearer to the spout. While the original usage was overlooked or neglected in the Qing dynasty, the high quality and the fact that the vessels are serially numbered suggest that they may have been used in an official or ancestral rite.

Compare also a slightly larger white-jade jue, formerly in the collection of The Milwaukee Art Museum, included in the 75th Anniversary Exhibition of Port-Archaic Chinese Jades from Private Collections, S. Marchant and Son, London, 2000, cat. no. 7; and three almost identical jade jue, one unmarked and the others with Qianlong and Jiaqing marks, respectively, included in the exhibition Jade as Sculpture, Minnesota Museum of Arts, Minnesota, 1975, cat. no. 87.

For the inspiration of the form see two archaic bronze jue of the Shang dynasty illustrated in R. W. Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, Washington D.C., 1987, pls. 12 and 13, together with a jue attributed by Bagley to the 12th and 11th Century B.C., pl. 18.

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Lot 1829 Lot 1830 Lot 1831 Lot 1832


Hugh Moss |