A rare pale green jade pouring Vessel 18th Century
of hemispherical form, on short foot, the body undecorated with spout and two lug handles with leaf decoration 6.7 cm. high
Provenance: Gilbert MacLeod, M.D., H.E.I.C.S. (1759-1818), served as a surgeon in the East India Company; his daughter, married James Stewart, D.L., J.P. of Cairnsmore, Kirkcudbrightshire; and thence by descent to present owner. See Lots 229, 230, 231.
There are several examples of this shape of jade vessel held in the collections of the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan catalogued as being of Central Asian or Eastern European origin (see Exquisite Beauty - Islamic Jades, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2007, ill. 20-22, pp. 39-40). All have the same lug ear handles with a spout extending straight out from the side of the vessel. The shape is not particularly Indian, though the leafy vegetal design to the handles is reminiscent of Mughal carved hardstone items. These vessels form part of a group known as 'Hindustan' jades of which over 270 examples are in the Imperial Chinese collections in Taiwan sent to China during the Ch'ing dynasty (1644-1911). 'Hindustan' was the term written on the paper wrappers many objects were encased in and seems to refer to both Mughal and Turkish jades. Hindustan according to did not specifically mean India and loosely referred to all regions southwest of Badakshan and east of Afghanistan.
This vessel may also possibly have been made by craftsmen working in the jade-producing regions of Khotan, Kashgar or Yarkand. There was a strong tradition of jade carving in Central Asia continuing from the Ilkhanid and Timurid period likely continuing into the 18th century. These regions also served as trading centres for Mughal and Ottoman jade objects travelling to the Chinese court. For further discussion on 'Hindustan' jades', see R. Skelton, Islamic and Mughal Jades, pp. 291-295 in R. Keverne (ed.), Jade, New York, 1991.