Double-carved spinach jade circular screen
Lot 204
A magnificent imperial spinach jade table screen Qianlong
Sold for HK$ 1,560,000 (US$ 201,177) inc. premium
Lot Details
A magnificent imperial spinach jade table screen
The circular panel worked with a scene of Shoulao and an attendant by the water's edge welcoming Xiwangmu, holding a peach, arriving on a phoenix, the design executed in various levels to impart a sense of depth with trees and rocks in the foreground and buildings recessing into the distance, reversed by a scene of two deer by a pavilion in a garden setting with a lingzhi sprig growing in the foreground, the mottled green stone with some black flecks, accompanied by an ornately-carved reticulated pieced wood stand. 21.7cm (8 1/2in) diam. (2).


  • Provenance:
    By repute, from the Summer Palace, Beijing
    Collection of Sir John William Buchanan-Jardine, 3rd Baronet of Castle Milk (1900-1969)
    Spink & Son, Ltd., London, 30 June 1959
    An English family collection of fine jade carvings

    Shoulao is the god of longevity, while according to legend, Xiwangmu has a peach tree whose peaches bestow immortality to those who eat them. The image of Shaoulao welcoming Xiwangmu is therefore meant to imply the desire for a long life. This motif is further reinforced by the two deer and lingzhi fungus on the reverse, both of which symbolise longevity. The deer, because they are companions of Shoulao and are believed to be able to sniff out lingzhi fungus, and lingzhi, because in ancient times, it was believed that the fungus could revive the dead. This concentration of longevity motifs on the screen point to the possibility of it being commissioned as a birthday gift for a member of the imperial household.

    Sir John William Buchanan-Jardine was a scion of Sir William Jardine, the founder of Jardine, Matheson & Co. Established in Canton in 1832, this great shipping company rose to dominate the lucrative China trade and was instrumental in the early development of Hong Kong. The Jardine family played an influential role as proponents of punitive action against the Manchu court, leading to the infamous Opium Wars. From their privileged position in the Far East, the family was in a strong position to secure important pieces from the Chinese Imperial collections after the looting of the Summer Palace, Peking, and the subsequent periods of instability.

    清乾隆 碧玉王母賀壽圓插屏

    圓明園 (傳)
    Sir John William Buchanan-Jardine, 3rd Baronet of Castle Milk (1900-1969) 收藏
    1959年, 6月30日購自倫敦 Spink & Son 有限公司