An Imperial inscribed Mughal-style white jade 'chrysanthemum' bowl Qianlong, Imperially incised poem dated to 1790
Lot 206
An Imperial inscribed Mughal-style white jade 'chrysanthemum' bowl Qianlong, incised poem dated to 1790
Sold for HK$ 3,860,000 (US$ 497,589) inc. premium

Lot Details
An Imperial inscribed Mughal-style white jade 'chrysanthemum' bowl Qianlong, Imperially incised poem dated to 1790 An Imperial inscribed Mughal-style white jade 'chrysanthemum' bowl Qianlong, Imperially incised poem dated to 1790 An Imperial inscribed Mughal-style white jade 'chrysanthemum' bowl Qianlong, Imperially incised poem dated to 1790
An Imperial inscribed Mughal-style white jade 'chrysanthemum' bowl
Qianlong, incised poem dated to 1790
The delicate body intricately worked in relief on the exterior with undulating layers of exotic acanthus leaves with the ends protruding in relief, the interior worked with a luxuriant chrysanthemum flower issuing further floral and leafy sprays, the interior incised in kaishu with an Imperial poem, postscript and seal mark skilfully spaced, the vessel flanked at the sides by a pair of ribbed ringed handles, suspended beneath intricately worked floral blossoms and leaves issuing from forked stems, all raised on a lotus leaf-shaped foot with lobed edges and the base with another blossoming lotus, the stone of a white colour with natural russet-brown inclusions, wood stand.
24cm wide.

Footnotes

  • Provenance 來源:
    Edgar and Hedwig Worch collection
    Christie's New York, 2 June 1994, lot 102
    The Jade Collector, Los Angeles, 15 June 1994

    Edgar Worch (1880-1972) and his wife Hedwig (1892-1997) were renowned German dealers in Oriental art. Edgar worked with his uncle at his gallery in Paris and made multiple trips to China at a very young age during the turn of the century. During the First World War, German-owned businesses were confiscated by the French Government, but this did not ultimately deter him. Upon his death in 1972, Edgar Worsh's collection was dispersed to major public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and collection of John D. Rockefeller.

    The poem and postscript read and literally translate as:

    pu cai kun meng, mo chuan yin du;
    wo ji chi xi zhi liu, ban xie wei rui;
    huan qing duo lie er shuang, hua ying ka za;
    ke chu yi song ren zhi jing ying, zhu quan yi li gu zhi fang gan;
    wu yi heng lai, xing kai jiang zhi jiu jing;
    you huai qie xie, xing zhao de zhi shi qin.


    shui mo hen du zhi yi chang,
    yuan cong gui yi de yuan kuang;
    yi lun yong zuo xu zhong lang,
    bai ban fen pi xiang wai xiang;
    liang er qing lai hua ye ju,
    shuang huan chui chu jing juan guang;
    xi nian qian xian jian you wu,
    xing chu reng jian kui bu dang.

    Qianlong gengrong xia yuti.
    Bide


    The raw stone is collected at the rainy mountain of Kunlun, the carving technique and polishing originates from India.
    Holding a measurer to examine [the bowl], the petals with luxurious leaves.
    Paired up with handles suspending circular rings, surrounded with entangled flowers.
    Its carving surpasses the white jades of the Song, its quality is filled with the fragrant and sweetness of the mountain spring.
    There is no diminishing supply [of jades], thanks for the prolonged peace since the establishment of the empire.
    Feeling the urge to write something, to praise the virtue and diligence'.

    'The water polishing technique of Hindustan produced this curio, the irregular transformed into a round circle.
    A wheel to work out the brightness in the transparency, and flower with hundreds of petals emitting out aroma.
    The two handles holding up the flowers, the two rings suspending as it shines beautiful lustre.
    I was surprised to see such stunning things forty years ago, now I feel lucky but thrilled to have it.
    Gengrong year of Qianlong, inscribed by the Emperor.

    The inscription concludes with the bide seal. These two characters are extracted from the Liji ('The Book of Rites, by Confucius), from the proverbial statement: Junzi bide yuyu, which literally translates as 'The gentleman (lit.'the lord's son) is more virtuous than jade'. This seal is reserved for Qianlong Imperial jades of the highest quality. It is also incised on the brushpot in this catalogue (lot 208), and on a white jade circular taishang huangdi seal, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8 April 2010 lot 1815.

    China was not the only country in history which valued Hetian jades. The Mughal Empire (1526-1857) left a legacy of high quality worked jades. Earlier Mughal jades primarily imitated metal and ceramic shapes, but the design of the current lot is of acanthus leaves and chrysanthemum blossoms. This may have been inspired by Emperor Jahangir's visit to the beautiful flower-filled valleys of Kashmir in 1620, which heralded a new style of using botanical motifs. Incense burners with covers and similar flower-shaped handles made in the Palace Workshops in imitation of Mughal jades are preserved in the Qing court collection, Palace Museum, Beijing, see The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Jadeware II, Shanghai, 2008, pp.38-39, nos.30 and 31.

    The Qianlong Emperor was a great admirer of Mughal jades, as demonstrated by the commentary on one of the Emperor's Imperial poems, stating that "although Khotan produces both raw and carved jade, all the best carvings are from Hindustan". The Emperor's passion was also indicated by the fact that he wrote at least seventy-three appreciative poems about individual pieces. According to Robert Skelton, Islamic and Mughal Jades, in Roger Keverne (ed.), Jade, London, 1991, p. 291, there are at least 'twenty-five jades with these poems engraved on them by the Imperial artisans' extant. In some of the poems, the Qianlong Emperor specifically mentioned that they were of hendu sitan or 'Hindustan' origin, but other cases he would simply refer to as 'the long journey' or 'carved in the West'. The current lot bears the stiffness and formal precision of execution that is classic of the Qianlong period. For a Mughal jade chrysanthemum-petal bowl bearing an Imperial inscription in the Qing court collection, preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing, see The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Jadeware II, Shanghai, 2008, p.306, pl.260 (fig.1).

    Mughal jades have been traded and gifted as tributes to China via Yarkand since the Manchu exercised their power in Central Asia. It is recorded that the Qianlong Emperor ordered for an Imperial letter and gifts to be sent there during the twenty-fifth year of Qianlong reign (1760) so that the trade would continue after his suppression of the Muslim rebellions in 1759. When the infinite resources of jade materials were again made available to the Qing court, the Emperor ordered the establishment of 'fanzuo' or 'foreign workshop' to produce jades after the Mughal style. This signifies that the Chinese were not well-informed regarding Mughal jade manufacturing techniques, but were admired by these precious artworks and were aware of how they reached the Chinese court. See a Mughal-style jade bowl made by the Imperial workshop, also with flower-shaped ring handles, currently in the Qing court collection, Palace Museum, Beijing, see The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Jadeware II, Shanghai, 2008, p.233, pl.194

    清乾隆 青白玉痕都斯坦式御題詩花葉紋盌

    青白玉質,局部有白色斑痕。玉胎打磨薄透,盌口微侈,深腹,花葉形淺圈足。外壁浮雕三層莨苕花葉,由小到大,錯落重疊,葉片由腹不下方申向口沿,葉尖微微捲曲,器身兩側分別雕兩個花形耳,下連花莖,其上各套活環。腹壁內側刻乾隆皇帝跋文及御題詩一首,尾鈐一「比德」篆文小印,底部內測中心陰刻纏枝莨苕花一朵。

    跋文:

    璞采崑濛,磨傳印度 。
    握計尺兮之六,瓣擷葳蕤;
    環擎朶列而雙,花縈匼匝。
    刻楮軼宋人之晶瑩,貯泉宜酈谷之芳甘。
    無翼恆來,幸開疆之久靖;
    有懷朅寫,性昭德之是勤 。

    御題詩:

    水磨痕都製異常,原從規以得圓匡;
    一輪湧作虛中朗,百瓣分披向外香;
    兩耳擎來花葉具,雙環垂出淨娟光;
    卌年前鮮見尤物,幸處仍兼愧不當。
    乾隆庚戌夏御題
    「比德」

    此詩載於《御製詩集》,第五集,卷六十三,〈詠痕都斯坦玉椀〉。「比德」一印出自孔子《禮記》中:「君子比德於玉」一句,意思指君子應把德性和玉的天然性質相比,達到仁、智、義、禮。

    該盌屬於德國Edgar and Hedwig Worch舊藏。Edgar Worch (1880 – 1972) 與其妻Hedwig (1892 – 1997)均為19世紀德國知名亞洲藝術商,他們的舊藏後來大部分都轉入各大博物館及收藏家手中,如美國大都會博物館、波斯頓藝術館等等,還有一部分亦為美國著名收藏家如人類歷史首富約翰•戴維森•洛克斐勒(John D. Rockefellar)以及弗瑞爾藝廊的創始人查爾斯•L•弗瑞爾(Charles L. Freer)等等收藏。Edgar Worch從小就跟隨其舅舅在巴黎的藝廊工作,並多次往返中國,第一次世界大戰後他成立了自己的古玩公司。此盌由1997年在紐約Hedwig Worch逝後遺產的拍賣中而得。

    「痕都斯坦」四字由乾隆隸定,即波斯語「印度」之意。乾隆將來自北印度、土耳其及部分中亞地區的玉器統稱為「痕都斯坦玉器」,此類玉器從乾隆初年由南疆回部官員及駐疆大臣貢進內廷。18世紀北印度正是莫臥兒帝國,因此痕都斯坦玉器在西方常被稱為莫臥兒玉器。痕都斯坦玉器受到中國明代中期玉器藝術影響發展而來,早期器形均仿自阿拉伯金屬器,後開始用莨苕科植物大卷葉裝飾,據說是受莫臥兒帝國皇帝賈漢吉爾1620年參觀參觀鮮花盛開的克什米爾峽谷後啟發。參看北京故宮博物院藏兩件清宮舊藏的青玉薄胎薰爐,為清代宮廷仿痕都斯坦玉器所作,其花形耳便是仿制此盌而作。張廣文編,《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系:玉器(下)》,上海,2008年,頁38-39,圖版30-31。

    乾隆皇帝對痕都斯坦玉器喜愛至極,使用和收藏了大量痕玉作品,並為其題贊詩共約73首,其中對某些器物的評價甚至高於中國玉器。據Robert Skelton在Roger Keverne所編《Jade》一書中統計(倫敦,1991年,頁291),目前已知帶有乾隆御題詩的痕都斯坦玉器僅存25件。此花葉紋盌無疑是乾隆時期痕都斯坦玉器收藏中最典型器物之一。參見北京故宮博物院清宮舊藏一件青玉御題詩痕都斯坦式菊瓣盌,其工藝及裝飾與該花葉盌極其類似,其上亦刻有乾隆乙未年(1775年)御題「詠痕都斯坦古玉盌」贊詩一首(fig.1),見張廣文編,《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系:玉器(下)》,上海,2008年,頁306,圖版260。

    乾隆二十二年(1757年),新疆回部發生大小和卓之亂,两年後乾隆平定回部,並設伊利將軍統轄新疆各部,設總理回疆事物參贊大臣管理回部,此時乾隆讓工匠從新疆採集大量玉料,並不遺餘力在宮廷和國內推廣痕都斯坦玉器,在宮廷及蘇州玉作坊設立「番作」,命工匠仿造痕玉。參見北京故宮博物院清宮舊藏一件青玉四花耳活環洗,其紋飾風格明顯受到痕都斯坦玉器影響,為清宮玉作坊仿製乾隆收藏痕玉所製,參見張廣文編,《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系:玉器(下)》,上海,2008年,頁233,圖版194。
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