A superb pair of pale green jade bottle vases, 18th century
Lot 19
A superb and very rare pair of pale green jade vases 18th century
Sold for £409,250 (US$ 679,070) inc. premium
Auction Details
A superb pair of pale green jade bottle vases, 18th century A superb pair of pale green jade bottle vases, 18th century
Lot Details
A superb and very rare pair of pale green jade vases
18th century
Carved with supreme skill and simplicity from pale green stone of astonishing lustre and even tone, each formed in mirror image as a long-necked bottle vase, raised on a high foot with overlapping ruyi-head bands at the foot and shoulder pointing towards the smooth and bulbous body left undecorated to reveal the exceptional quality of the stone, the long neck crisply carved with one large and one small chilong dragon of remarkable definition and character, with long coiling split tails swirling elegantly around the vase neck, all beneath a simple incised leiwen pattern at the mouth, wood stands.
Each 28.6cm (11¼in) high (4).

Footnotes

  • 十八世紀 青玉雕螭龍紋瓶一對

    Provenance: a European private collection and thence by descent

    The present pair of jade vases is a remarkable achievement of the finest of Qing Dynasty jade craftsmanship and would almost certainly have been made for the Imperial court. The spherical form and elongated necks would have required a large stone. To make a pair this would have been doubly challenging. However, a feat of such even tone and quality of stone, requiring in the process the loss of much of the stone around the necks, could almost only have been for Imperial use and is a tour de force of the jade ateliers. This is exemplified in these rare vases in the use of negative space, allowing the quality of the even pale green jade to reveal itself, restricting the relief-carved design to the ruyi-head borders forming the plain spherical bodies and the elongated cylindrical necks with the pair of chilong finely carved in mirror image.

    The motif on each of the vases of an adult chilong and its young is related to that of an adult and younger dragon, as exemplified in a famille rose lantern-shaped vase, Qianlong seal mark and of the period, illustrated in Ethereal Elegance. Porcelain Vases of the Imperial Qing. The Huaihaitang Collection, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2007, p.346, pl.123, where the motif is interpreted as 'convey[ing] the message of the father teaching his son the way of life...the emperor giving lessons to the prince.'

    Compare a smaller pair of white jade vases, Qianlong, carved in low relief in the Mughal style, from the collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28 November 2006, lot 1392. It is also interesting to compare a similarly-shaped glass bottle vase, Qianlong mark and of the period, carved with chilong along the body and neck, from the Professor P.H. and Mrs T.Plesch Collection, sold at Sotheby's London on 12 November 1979, lot 102.
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Chinese Art (UK)
    Auction Administration - Chinese Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +44 20 7468 8248
    FaxFax: +44 20 7495 5251