A pale green jade ruyi sceptre 18th century
Lot 325
A rare pale green jade ruyi Jiaqing
Sold for £61,250 (US$ 104,167) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A rare pale green jade ruyi
Jiaqing
The stone of pale mostly even tone with some natural flaws at the lower end, the head shaped as a shallow lobed panel containing two rounded peaches and leaves, a four-clawed scaly dragon crouching along the shaft and the pointed lower end with a pendent bat motif terminating in stylised archaistic C-scrolls, the underside incised with a geometric T-fret design.
38.5cm (15 1/8in) long

Footnotes

  • Provenance: a Scottish private collection

    Ruyi means 'as you wish' and therefore, a presentation of a ruyi sceptre would have been deemed as bestowing good luck. In form the ruyi sceptre may be traced back to Buddhist deities holding back scratchers, with the ruyi being presented as early as the Tang Dynasty. This Buddhist manifestation was adopted by the Daoists, transforming the terminal in form to represent the lingzhi fungus associated with longevity. Indeed, this wish for longevity is further reinforced in the present lot in the carving of the peaches, also symbolic of longevity. The Yongzheng emperor revived the tradition of presentation of ruyi sceptres by commissioning examples in various materials. The importance of the ruyi sceptre was further reinforced by the Qianlong emperor, who officially called upon couriers to present ruyi sceptres upon imperial birthdays and New Year celebrations. This encouraged the production of opulent ruyi sceptres in a variety of materials, including jade, jadeite, turquoise, zitan, bamboo, coral, lacquer, bronze, and filigree work. See R.Krahl, China: The Three Emperors 1662 - 1795, London, Catalogue, nos.273-282.

    Compare a related pale green jade ruyi sceptre, Qianlong period, from the Qing Court Collection, similarly carved with a high relief chilong on the long shaft, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Jadeware (II), Beijing, 2008, Catalogue, no.36. Compare also the similar Wan diaper ground and key-fret border decorating a turquoise gem-inlaid ruyi sceptre, Daoguang period, from the Qing Court Collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Treasures of Imperial Court, Beijing, 2004, Catalogue, no.51.
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