A fine and rare large white jade double-sided Imperially inscribed screen, wood stand Qianlong
Lot 56
A fine and rare large white jade double-sided Imperially-inscribed screen Qianlong
Sold for £264,000 (US$ 428,397) inc. premium

Lot Details
A fine and rare large white jade double-sided Imperially-inscribed screen Qianlong A fine and rare large white jade double-sided Imperially inscribed screen, wood stand Qianlong A fine and rare large white jade double-sided Imperially inscribed screen, wood stand Qianlong A fine and rare large white jade double-sided Imperially inscribed screen, wood stand Qianlong A fine and rare large white jade double-sided Imperially inscribed screen, wood stand Qianlong A fine and rare large white jade double-sided Imperially inscribed screen, wood stand Qianlong
The Property of a Gentleman
A fine and rare large white jade double-sided Imperially-inscribed screen
Qianlong
Of rectangular form curving at the top, superbly carved on one side with two scholars, one pulling at his beard, standing by a stream, addressing an attendant collecting lingzhi fungus in a basket, all before a pagoda shaded by a large gnarled pine in a craggy landscape below cloud scrolls, the clear sky space enclosing the skilfully incised Imperial poem in kaishu and introduced Yuzhi si (a poem by Imperial ordinance), further incised on the left edge Chen Yade gongmo, the reverse carved with a crane standing on one foot below pine and opposite lingzhi fungus, looking upwards at a crane in flight amidst cloud scrolls, the clear sky with a later incised gilt eight-column inscription, the stone of very pale white-green tone with opaque inclusions, carved wood stand.
23.5cm (9¼in) high (2).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: probably Yade, Governor of Fujian Province in the late 18th century; the screen was most likely commissioned by Yade and presented to the Qianlong Emperor
    The Board of Directors of the Luanzhou Mining Company, presented to the Board of Directors of the Kaiping Mining Company in 1938
    An English private collection, purchased from William Clayton, London, 29 April 1963 for £500, and thence by descent

    The inscription on the left hand of the screen reads Chen Yade gongmo (Your humble servant Yade commissions this for you with sincerity). Recorded memorials of the Manchu official include a report of a fire in Taiwan, cyclically dated to AD1785. This inscription therefore represents an extremely rare documentary insight into tributes presented to the Imperial Court.

    The poem on the front of the screen reads:

    水月精神土木形
    閑行適讀罷黃庭
    紫芝採得何須餌
    名注丹臺骨本青

    With an elusive spirit and a physical form,
    I read for pleasure, having given up a life of officialdom,
    With abundant lingzhi, nothing else can entice me,
    I have mastered the secrets to longevity.

    The reverse bears a dedicatory inscription stating that the screen is a gift from the Board of Directors of the Luanzhou Mining Company to the Board of Directors of the Kaiping company, dated the seventh month of the 27th year of the Republic of China (1938). The Luanzhou Mining Company was established under the auspices of Yuan Shikai, Governor of the Province of Zhili from 1901-1908 and more known for his spell in power 1915-1916. The Luanzhou Company was in competition with the Kaiping Company, formally called the Chinese Engineering and Mining Company, established in 1878 in the same province. Due to financial troubles the two companies were later administered by the Anglo-Chinese Kailuan Mining Administration until in 1934 they were amalgamated under the Kailuan Mining Corporation, which continued to operate until 1941. In 1945 the company reverted to British control, but in 1948 the area fell under Communist control and the British were expelled.
Auction information

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