An important and rare pair of archaistic pale celadon jade wine vessels, jue Incised Qianlong four-c
Lot 243
An important and rare pair of archaistic pale green jade wine vessels, jue Incised Qianlong four-character marks and of the period
Sold for £168,000 (US$ 283,510) inc. premium
Auction Details
An important and rare pair of archaistic pale celadon jade wine vessels, jue Incised Qianlong four-c An important and rare pair of archaistic pale celadon jade wine vessels, jue Incised Qianlong four-c
Lot Details
JADES AND HARDSTONE CARVINGS A Greek private collection of fine jade carvings (Lots 243-249) The collection was formed during the 1950s and 60s by a Greek lady in the privileged environment of a well known Athenian family, who similarly to other prominent Greek families of the period, participated in international shipping as well as being pioneers of the Greek textile industry. Pictures of the period show her as a beautiful young woman, who supported her family's social and business standing, creating several beautiful homes, with the family's main residence just opposite the Greek Royal palace. The family was frequented by the Athenian as well as European aristocratic circles. Frequent visits to London and Paris, where the family owned an apartment, enriched the Chinese art collection, purchased from leading London dealers such as John Sparks, Spink & Son, S. Marchant & Son, William Clayton, Frank Partridge & Sons, H.R. Hancock & Sons, and in Paris L. Wannieck and C.C.E.O. The collection as a whole and when studied individually is a testament to the enduring refined taste and wonderful eye of the collector.
An important and rare pair of archaistic pale green jade wine vessels, jue
Incised Qianlong four-character marks and of the period
Inspired by the shape of archaic bronze vessels, each jue cup superbly carved in relief with two friezes enclosing stylised confronted dragon and phoenix divided by flanges, the reverse with a taotie mask, all framed by foliate scrolls, the walls rising to the flared spouted mouth rim surmounted by mushrooms, raised on three blades carved with taotie masks, the flat-back vessels when positioned back to back forming the illusion of a double-spouted jue vessel, the stone of pale green tone with minor russet inclusions, wood stands.
13cm (5⅛in) high. (4).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: a Greek private collection, Athens, formed in the 1950s/60s and thence by descent.

    Archaic-bronze-inspired jade jue vessels of the Qianlong period are extremely rare. Only one other example, a pair of nearly identical form but with a six-character Qianlong fangu mark, now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, appears to have been published. The 'Fitzwilliam' pair of white jade jue vessels was given by Sir Percival David to his close friend, Oscar Raphael, the principal benefactor of the Fitzwilliam Museum's jade collection, and was later bequeathed to the museum in 1941. See J.C.S.Lin, The Immortal Stone: Chinese Jades from the Neolithic Period to the Twentieth Century, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 2009, Catalogue no.79, where the author notes that the Museum's pair is the best example in the Museum's collection of jade vessels inspired by archaic bronzes.

    The Qianlong Emperor advocated restoration of the ancient ways and suggested jade craftsmen should turn to antiquity for models. This was not simply a return to previous aesthetics but a view of ancient culture as being imbued with intrinsic qualities of sincerity, simplicity and happy exuberance; see L.Chang, The Refined Taste of the Emperor: Special Exhibition of Archaic and Pictorial Jades of the Ch'ing Court, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1997, pp.49-50.

    We would like to thank Dr Lin, Fitzwilliam Museum, for permitting us to compare the jue vessels and for providing provenance information about the 'Fitzwilliam' pair of jade jue vessels.
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