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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 21 

Lot 21

Lot 21
Treasury 1, no. 20 (‘The King Wen Trigrams Jade’)

Nephrite of pebble material; very well hollowed, with a concave lip and concave circular foot; carved on each side with an octagonal panel with the Eight Trigrams surrounding a central yinyang symbol, the narrow sides with mask-and-ring handles
Height: 4.95 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.62/2.49 and 2.45 cm (oval)
Stopper: tourmaline; gilt-bronze collar

Robert Hall (1993)

Kleiner 1995, no. 85
Treasury 1, no. 20

British Museum, June–October 1995
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1997 

The Eight Trigrams (bagua) are three-line structures that stand for the eight elemental forces in nature (heaven, earth, moving water, fire, wind, thunder, mountain, collected water), and they in turn are related to the yinyang dichotomy, since solid lines correspond to yang, the strong active principle, while broken lines correspond to yin, the yielding passive principle. Together these concepts represent the positive and negative dualism existing within all things. The arrangement here is the so-called King Wen Eight Trigrams.

Although heavy in the hand, because of the substantial relief and wide neck, this bottle is remarkably well hollowed, with a base thickness of only 0.23 cm, out of which the shallow concavity of the foot is taken. This painstaking hollowing is in keeping with the quality of carving and formal integrity, both of which are of a very high standard.

The material is what is called ‘han’ jade, in which the yellowish olive-green core is combined with its outer pebble-skin. There is little indication, however, that the bottle itself is from the same school of that commonly used this material. This shape is unknown in any other works from the school, as is the decoration and the atypical mask handles. It is more likely that another workshop used the same sort of material.


This is not the Sotheby’s sale catalogue. This is a product of Hugh Moss for the purposes of this website. For the catalogue details please refer to Sotheby’s website or request a copy of a printed sale catalogue from Sotheby’s.


Easy link to this page: http://www.e-yaji.com/auction/photo.php?photo=1729&exhibition=12&ee_lang=eng


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