A rare Imperial white jade circular table screen Qianlong/ Jiaqing
Lot 54*
A rare Imperial white jade circular table screen Qianlong/ Jiaqing
Sold for £96,000 (US$ 161,358) inc. premium
Auction Details
A rare Imperial white jade circular table screen Qianlong/ Jiaqing A rare white jade circular 'Immortals' plaque  Qianlong
Lot Details
The Property of a Channel Islands Trust
A rare Imperial white jade circular table screen
Qianlong/ Jiaqing
The circular panel intricately worked on both sides, depicting Shoulao holding a peach and his attendant, approached by four of the eight Immortals, Zhang Guolao, Han Zhongli, Lan Caihe and He Xiangu, set within a rocky deeply worked landscape with pine, wutong trees and low lying clouds, reversed by a similarly rocky scene depicting two bats in flight by five fruiting peaches borne on leafy stems from a large gnarled tree, with turbulent water flowing below, the stone of an even white tone, with some cloudy-white inclusions and minor russet skin showing to the sides, wood stand.
21.2cm (8¼in) diam. (2).


  • Provenance: a Channel Islands private collection. According to family tradition the screen was removed from the Summer Palace by a family ancestor who participated in the British 'China Expeditionary Force', sent to lift the siege of the Foreign Legations in Beijing and quell the Boxer Rebellion in 1900-1901.

    Jade screens were particularly popular during the 18th century, and were normally produced in pairs. It is very likely that the present screen was also originally produced as one of a pair, which together would have depicted all of the eight Immortals. The composition is reminiscent of paintings or printed images of the period, and it is very likely that the design may have been based on a particular woodblock illustration.

    An 18th century rectangular pale green table screen in the British Museum is similarly worked to depict Shoulao, the God of longevity, and the Eight Immortals within a mountainous landscape, illustrated by J.Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, London, 1995, fig.29:17.

    Compare also a white jade circular table screen from the De An Tang collection, dated to the Qianlong period, which is worked to depict a pair of scholars and their attendants within a mountainous landscape, the reverse with flowering blossoms borne on leafy stems emerging from pierced rockwork, illustrated in A Romance with Jade, Beijing, 2004, fig.26.

    A pair of Qianlong period white jade circular table screens, showing how the two designs can complement one another, are illustrated by R.Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, Hong Kong, 1996, fig.123.
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  1. Asaph Hyman
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
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