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photographer New Owner.
Water, Pine and Stone Retreat. Qianlong  Large picture | Small picture
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 8 October 2009: Lot 1816 

the translucent sage-green nephrite with darker patches of green interspersed throughout the stone, carved in a deep U-shaped tea bowl with thin sides rising to a slightly flared rim, supported on a short waisted footrim, the interior lightly grooved around the mouth to take the fitted domed cover, set with a circular finial echoing the foot, the recessed center of the cover incised with a four-character mark Qianlong yuyong ('For the Imperial Use of the Qianlong Emperor'), wood stand (fitted box)
9 CM.

Christie's London, 15th June 1998, lot 269.

The yuyong mark, which designated objects for the personal use of the Emperor, is certainly the most prestigious among all marks found on Imperial wares, followed closely by the yuzhi designation, which applied to objects made by Imperial command. The yuyong mark was only used on rare occasions for the Emperor's most admired objects of which the present piece is a fine example. See another similar translucent mottled green jade bowl with the Qianlong yuyong mark, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Chinese Jades Throughout the Ages –Connoisseurship of Chinese Jades, vol. 11, Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 23 (fig. 1).

For examples of jade vessels bearing the Qianlong yuyong mark, see a covered light-green jade bowl included in the Special Exhibition of Hindustan Jade in the National Palace Museum, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1983, cat. no. 19; two bowls decorated with inlays, one in the Richard Fuller collection published in James Watt, Chinese Jades from the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 1989, cat. no. 101, and the other in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Zhongguo yuqi quanji, vol. 6, Shijiazhuang, 1993, pl. 63; and a bowl with two dragon handles, also in the Palace Museum collection, included ibid., pl. 33.

Jade of this colouration was much favoured by the Qianlong Emperor who had a number of pieces made of similar mottled green stone. Compare a large vase and cover illustrated in Robert Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 136, together with a meiping with a Qianlong reign mark and of the period, pl. 138, formerly in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. See also two hu form vases, in the Palace Museum, published in Zhongguo yuqi quanji, vol. 6, Shijiazhuang, 1993, pls. 189 and 190, and pl. 201 respectively.

Fig. 1 A green jade bowl, Yuyong mark and period of Qianlong
Courtesy of the palace museum, Beijing


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Hugh Moss |