An Imperial white jade 'trigram' archer's ring Qianlong
Lot 311
A rare Imperial white jade 'trigram' archer's ring Qianlong
HK$ 300,000 - 500,000
US$ 39,000 - 64,000

Lot Details
A rare Imperial white jade 'trigram' archer's ring
Qianlong
The fine white stone skilfully worked in relief with archaistic motifs, featuring a square cartouche with triple-lined trigram pattern framed by a pair of mythical beasts, the design wrapped around an additional band of archaistic 'S'-scrolls at the waist.
3cm diam.

Footnotes

  • The qian or trigram symbol worked on on the current seal is unique in representing the Qianlong Emperor, bearing different levels of interpretation and depth of meaning.

    The trigram represents the principle of yin and yang manifested in the form of open and solid lines. Yin refers to the female and all that is passive, negative, dark and feminine; yang refers to the male and all that is active, positive, light and masculine. The polarity of three solid lines above one another is called the 'Pure Yang', which represents Heaven. The Qianlong Emperor was associated with the 'Son of Heaven', hence his closest personal belongings would contain the 'Pure Yang' symbol. Such representation embodies the zenith of power and the complete reign over all celestial, human and terrestrial planes.

    The different polarities of a trigram also represent different levels of rankings within family relationships. The 'Pure Yang', which is located at the highest polarity, refers to the position of the 'Father'. This bears significance to the Qianlong Emperor as the Taishang Huangdi or 'the Emperor Emeritus', when he abdicated his position as the supreme ruler of China.

    The trigram motif also appears on a white jade Taishang Huangdi seal dated to the year 1796, the year after the Qianlong Emperor took the title of Emperor Emeritus, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 9 October 2007, lot 1301. See also the same motif on a zitan stand mounting a Han dynasty jade bi disc from the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat collection, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8 October 2009, lot 1808.

    清乾隆 御製白玉俏色螭龍紋扳指

    玉質晶瑩,溫潤細膩,扳指一端呈坡狀,圓柱壁上淺浮雕雲紋一周,上利用玉石中的淡墨色雕成絃線一周,雅淡別緻,中央呈正方形開光,雕出雙夔龍捧乾卦圖案,雕工細膩流暢,部局到位,是精湛工藝與天然美石之結合。

    雙夔龍捧乾卦圖案是清乾隆皇帝御用之圖案,周易中三條同等長度之橫劃"≡",視為乾卦,是周易六十四卦之首,又稱「乾為天」,而圖案旁邊的夔龍,跟乾隆帝之「隆」字同音,又有人中龍之意,因此雙夔龍捧乾卦圖案被利用成清乾隆皇帝專用的圖案,代表了清乾隆帝本人,此圖案也經常出現在他的印璽上,以作其姓名印之用,見故宮博物院編,《故宮博物院藏清代帝后璽印譜》,第五冊,乾隆卷一,頁63,在台北國立故宮博物院藏《清高宗御製詩文集乾隆像》中,於乾隆帝畫像之上方,蓋有雙夔龍捧乾卦圖案之印,見馮明珠編,《乾隆皇帝的文化大業》,台北,2002,頁14-17,圖版I-1。

    在玉器上雕有雙夔龍捧乾卦圖案例子,清乾隆帝御寶題詩白玉圓璽,可參考香港蘇富比,2007年10月9日,拍品編號1301,以及清乾隆御製紫檀木嵌素古玉壁御題詩插屏,香港蘇富比,2009年10月8日,拍品編號1808。
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