A magnificent pale green jade 'marriage' bowl, 18th century (wood stand and box)
Lot 40
A magnificent pale green jade 'marriage' bowl 18th century
Sold for £241,250 (US$ 398,839) inc. premium
Auction Details
A magnificent pale green jade 'marriage' bowl 18th century A magnificent pale green jade 'marriage' bowl 18th century A magnificent pale green jade 'marriage' bowl 18th century
Lot Details
A magnificent pale green jade 'marriage' bowl
18th century
The pale green stone of very even tone, crisply carved as a bowl raised on four lobed feet, each ring-handle formed as the head of a mythical beast with a paw and stylised wings swooping out from either side, the exterior carved in shallow relief with leafy sprays of blossom and lingzhi fungus cleverly disguising some natural flaws, the interior with a single spray of lingzhi fungus and grasses in higher relief, wood stand, box.
19.5cm (7¾in) wide (3).

Footnotes

  • 十八世紀 青玉雕花卉紋雙獸耳活環洗

    Provenance: presented on 9 July 1950 by the Swiss Consul in Shanghai, Mr 'Snooks' Joerg, to Scott Langshaw Burdett, C.B.E., M.C. (1897-1961), British Consul General in China, and thence by descent.

    Scott L. Burdett (1897-1961) served as an intelligence officer in the Royal Sussex Regiment during the First World War and was awarded the Military Cross for reconnaissance work forward of the trenches at the battle of Épehy in northern France. After the war he began training in law in London before joining His Majesty's Consular Service in 1920 as a Student Interpreter in Beijing and probably Harbin. He was tasked with learning the language and the business of consular service and he became fluent in Mandarin. He later went on to translate the Chinese Criminal Code into English.

    In 1925 he was appointed Vice-Consul and throughout the years rose to the rank of Consul General in China, having served in Beijing, Canton, Changsha, Cheefoo, Harbin, Shenyang, Shanghai, Tianjin and Weihai. Between April and August 1942 Burdett was detained in Shanghai by the Japanese. Following the Second World War, he returned to China in 1947 first serving as Consul General in Tianjin until 1950 and then appointed as Consul General in Shanghai. It was at this time that the present jade 'marriage' bowl was given to him as a leaving gift from the Swiss Consul General, Mr 'Snooks' Joerg. During the same year, Scott Burdett was awarded the order of Commander of the British Empire. His travels gave him great opportunity and he collected works of art ranging from jades and ivories to furniture, rugs, clothes and scrolls. He obviously took great pleasure in forming his collection. Scott Burdett was in the habit of exchanging jade as gifts with friends and the stone meant a lot to him. He retired in 1951 and returned to Britain.

    This fine jade bowl belongs to the group of 'marriage' bowls alternatively carved with butterfly, bat or dragon handles, popular in the Qing Dynasty Imperial court. The dragon is first among mythical beasts, and also symbolises fertility - an important consideration at a marriage. Just as with butterfly-handled bowls, the two dragons also represent the concept of happiness at union.

    Another pale green jade marriage bowl with dragon handles, from the Alan and Simone Hartman Collection, was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27 November 2007, lot 1522.
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