A large white jade 'finger citron'   Mid Qing dynasty
Lot 389
A large white jade 'finger citron' Mid Qing dynasty
Sold for HK$ 720,000 (US$ 92,850) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Chinese Jade from the John and Berthe Ford Collection (lots 389 to 428)
A large white jade 'finger citron'
Mid Qing dynasty
Naturalistically worked as a cluster of two finger citrons, the natural texture of the fruit captured by the subtle surface bumps and glossy polish of the stone, the larger fruit towering above the smaller, both with elongated thick tendrils with curled ends, all issuing from an openwork of gnarled branches bearing further large lobed leaves worked in high relief, a lone pheasant sitting on a stalk with its head back-turned, the stone pale green with slight light brown russet stains, stand.
19.7cm high. (2).


  • 清中期 白玉雕佛手瓜形花插

    Edward Choate O'Dell, Baltimore, 1940s

    The Buddha's hand citron, which takes its name from the shape of its fruit that resembles the idealised digiform fingers of the Buddha, has a strong fragrance and is used as an altar offering during the New Year celebration. The first character of its name, 'fo', is a pun for 'fu' which translates as blessings or riches, while the second character, 'shou', is a homophone for longevity.

    For a related white jade finger citron, see J Watt, Chinese Jades from the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 1989, pl.79. See also an example in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated by R.L.D'Argencé, Chinese Jades in The Avery Brundage Collection, Tokyo, 1977, pp.106-107, pl.XLVI.

    The collection of John and Berthe Ford is famous for its Himalayan art, one of the most important private holdings in the world. The collection has been widely exhibited, including Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal and Tibet, which was shown between 2001 and 2004 at the Walters Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Albuquerque Museum of Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, and Hong Kong Museum of Art. In an extraordinary act of philanthropy, the Fords have recently donated their entire collection to the Walters Art Museum, their home museum in Baltimore.

    John Ford began to collect in India and Nepal in 1963, and has consistently visited Asia almost every year with his wife Berthe, sharing their deep love of Asian art, forming the collection which the renowned scholar Pratapaditya Pal, and author of Desire and Devotion describes as 'the outcome of the intense desire and passionate devotion of both Fords'.

    John Ford was also profoundly influenced by his godfather and mentor, Edward Choate O'Dell (1901-82), the famous Baltimore collector of Chinese art and founder of The International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society, whose collection was exhibited at the Asia Society, New York in 1982. He was regarded as a 'renaissance' man for his broad interests in engineering, law, music and Chinese art, and a pioneer in the study of Chinese snuff bottles.

    The name Ford is famous in Himalayan art, and O'Dell is famous in Chinese snuff bottles, but only close friends and relatives would have been aware of the collection of Chinese decorative art begun by O'Dell in the 1930s, and continued right up to the present day by his protégée. Many of the larger vessels here were purchased by O'Dell from the great liquidation sale of Yamanaka & Co., held at Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 24-27 May 1944. The others were acquired by O'Dell and Ford from galleries they visited on their extensive international travels.

    Edward O'Dell had an eye for classic, archaic form. This is reflected in his choice of vessels derived from archaic bronze shapes: an Imperial white jade 'guang' vessel (lot 390) with original zitan stand, comparable to an example in the National Palace Museum, Taipei; a rare yellow jade 'fangding' (lot 417), closely related to a spinach jade example in the Palace Museum, Beijing; and the outstanding white jade 'hu' (lot 427). There is also a broad range of carvings encapsulating the diversity of auspicious symbols in Qing dynasty art, including various fruits, lingzhi fungus, auspicious animals, and a large white jade finger-citron (lot 389), emblematic of the Buddha's hands.

    約翰與巴馥•福特珍藏中國玉器(Lot 389至Lot 428)

    約翰與巴馥•福特所藏的喜馬拉雅藝術被譽爲全球最重要的私人收藏之一,而他們也因此聞名世界。他們的收藏曾在世界各地展出,這包括反響强烈的〈欲望與虔誠:約翰與巴馥•福特藏 印度、尼泊爾及西藏藝術〉展覽。該展覽在2001年至2004年期間,先後於巴爾的摩的沃爾特藝術博物館、加州聖巴巴拉藝術博物館、新墨西哥州阿爾伯克基藝術博物館、亞拉巴馬州伯明翰藝術博物館、香港藝術館等博物館機構展出。不久前,夫婦倆人將其全部收藏品捐獻給了家鄉巴爾的摩的沃爾特藝術博物館,可謂慈善與公益事業中又一曠世之舉。

    約翰•福特自1963年便開始在印度及尼泊爾從事文物藝術品收藏活動,並持續每年携妻子巴馥•福特走訪亞洲各個國家。福特夫婦在與衆人分享他們對亞洲藝術鍾愛之情的同時,也不斷擴大了自己的藝術收藏。《欲望與虔誠》一書的作者,著名學者布拉達帕迪亞(Pratapaditya Pal)曾描述福特夫婦的收藏爲「對亞洲藝術熾熱之情及用心投入的碩果」。

    約翰•福特在藝術收藏上深受其教父、知名中國藝術收藏家愛德華•喬特•奧戴爾(Edward Choate O'Dell)(1901-82)的影響。奧戴爾可謂是福特在中國藝術品收藏中的良師益友,他創辦了國際中國鼻烟壺協會,他本人的收藏也曾於1982年在紐約亞洲協會展出過。憑藉他對工程、法律、音樂以及中國藝術等方面的廣泛興趣和研究,奧戴爾被譽爲當時的"文藝復興之人",幷被公認爲是當時中國鼻烟壺研究的先驅者。
    儘管福特與奧戴爾分別是以其喜馬拉雅藝術及中國鼻烟壺收藏而聞名于世,但與他們較爲親近的朋友和圈內的藏友以及親人都知道,奧戴爾其實從十九世紀30年代就開始收藏其他門類的中國裝飾藝術了。直至今日,奧戴爾的門生仍然對中國藝術品收藏有著濃厚興趣。在奧戴爾的收藏中,多數大件中國藝術品都購自於日本山中産業(Yamanaka & Co.)在1944年位於紐約Parke-Bernet美術館舉行的一次清產核資拍賣。還有另外一部份的藏品,是奧戴爾與福特走訪世界各地時收購而來。

  1. Vincent Wu
    Auction Administration - Chinese Paintings
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  2. Meilin Wang
    Specialist - Chinese Paintings
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