A greyish-green jade 'archaistic dragon' libation vessel Ming dynasty
Lot 211
A greyish-green jade 'archaistic dragon' libation vessel rhyton Ming dynasty
Sold for HK$ 980,000 (US$ 126,359) inc. premium

Lot Details
A greyish-green jade 'archaistic dragon' libation vessel Ming dynasty A greyish-green jade 'archaistic dragon' libation vessel Ming dynasty
A greyish-green jade 'archaistic dragon' libation vessel rhyton
Ming dynasty
Of archaistic guang form, the sturdy vessel naturalistically worked in the form of a broad libation vessel, the base exquisitely worked in the form of a ferocious dragon head with fierce facial expression engulfing the vessel, issuing forth a pair of horns and wavy mane at the back of the head with additional scaly body, intricately worked and incised with archaistic scrolls and a band of stylised cloud and thunder diaper ground, framed between a band of knotted strings at the waist and keyfret scrolls at the mouth, the stone of a greyish-green colour retaining its original russet-brown skin.
12.3cm high.

Footnotes

  • Provenance 來源:
    Captain Louis Tissier collection
    Christie's Hong Kong, 30 October 1994, lot 458
    The Jade Collector, Los Angeles, 4 February 1998

    Captain Louis Tissier (22 July 1866 - 28 November 1943) was a French politician from Lyon, who served as the elected senator of Vaucluse from 1920, where he concerned himself on topics such as maritime issues, customs and women's suffrage.

    The current lot takes its shape from an archaic bronze guang vessel. The finely worked classic key-fret scrolls around the lip relate to bronze prototypes, and the open spirals on the exterior surface relate to designs found on jades of the Warring States period.

    One of the earliest published examples, excavated from the tomb of the King of Nanyue in present day Guangzhou province, dating to circa 122 BC, is illustrated by Peter Lam, Jades from the Tomb of the King of Nanyue, Hong Kong, 1991, Catalogue no.D44. Jessica Rawson suggests the possibility that the rhyton form was introduced into China from the West, probably in silver or a precious stone, see J.Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, London, 1995, p.71.

    The rhyton continued to develop and evolve in form from the Song through to the Qing dynasties. The monster head base, seen on examples dating as early as the Song dynasty, may well have been introduced as a decorative element to provide a visual explanation for the twisted handle, as seen on the Nanyue example, see ibid, p.396. Early jade examples can be found in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated by Lefebvre d'Argencé, pl.XXXVII and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore (accession number 42.250). Another example dated to the Song Dynasty was exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London in 1975, illustrated in Chinese Jade Throughout the Ages, London, 1975, Catalogue no.277.

    A comparable spinach green jade 'dragon' libation vessel with Qianlong inscription dated to 1781 is preserved in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, and illustrated in The Refined taste of the Emperor: Special Exhibition of Archaic and Pictorial Jades of the Ch'ing Court, Taipei, 1997, pp.126-127, no.34 (fig.1). For another similar greyish jade 'dragon' libation vessel dated to 1786, formerly in the Du Breuil collection and now in the Songzhutang collection, see The Splendour of Jade. The Songzhutang Collection of Jade, Hong Kong, 2011, pp.174-175, no.141.

    明 青玉帶皮仿古龍紋觥

    青玉潤澤,留有本來的皮殼,褐皮黃斑。器呈觥形,上刻有兩個層次的紋飾,上部份為青銅器上之常見紋飾,口沿飾雷紋一周,連接著繁密的勾雲紋,下部份為一龍首張口,毛髮飄揚,尾部捲曲,整體造形大器古樸。

    此青玉觥是路易斯Tissier上尉(1866-1943)的舊藏,他曾是一位法國里昂的政治家。1920年11月16日,他當選為沃克呂茲省參議員,關注出入口及婦女權益等問題。

    其中一件最早出版的例子,是出土於現今廣州地區的南越皇墓,屬於約公元前122年的玉角形杯,參見林業強著,《南越王墓玉器》,圖版D44。Jessica Rawson 提出,早期的角形杯很有可能是以銀或珍貴石材製成,並由西方引入中國的,見J.Rawson著,Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing,倫敦,1995,頁71。

    角形杯這器形在宋代至清代也有持續的演變。以神獸作底部裝飾的最早例子出現於宋代,這或可從視覺上解釋裝飾部份如何演變成耳杯,參見上述書本中南越皇墓的例子,頁396。早期的玉石例子有舊金山亞洲藝術博物館的珍藏(R.Y Lefebvre d'Argencé一書,圖版XXXVII)及美國馬里蘭州的Walters Art Museum收藏(編號42.250)。

    以相同概念雕成的玉器例子,可參考台北故宮博物院藏的清乾隆玉龍紋觥(fig.1),此玉觥以螭龍攀爬為鋬,上部份飾青銅紋飾,下部份為一張口蛟龍,器內近口沿位置陰刻隸畫清高宗御製詩一首,見故宮博物院編輯委員會編:《宮廷之雅-清代仿古及畫意玉器特展圖錄》,台北,1997,頁126-127,編號34(fig.1)。另一件外型接近的例子,可參考松竹堂珍藏的大玉觥,該器留皮,沒有鋬,尤其上部份的紋飾,與本拍品如出一轍,此器也有陰刻清高宗御製詩一首,見霍滿棠:《韞玉生輝-松竹堂珍藏玉器》,香港,2011,頁174-175,圖版141。
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