A jade 'egret and lotus' carving Ming dynasty
Lot 343
A jade 'egret and lotus' carving Qianlong
Sold for HK$ 325,000 (US$ 41,926) inc. premium
Lot Details
A jade 'egret and lotus' carving
Qianlong
The two avian birds depicted standing side by side on sharp talons, both with feathery crests running down the back of their heads and ending in small tufts, their sumptuous bodies flanked by a pair of wings, the larger with a stumpy tail standing tall with neck extended upwards and head looking back, the smaller with head turned backwards and ending with a fluffy tail, their beaks holding onto a stem of leafy lotus sprig terminating with a blossoming lotus flower.
11.6cm high.

Footnotes

  • Provenance 來源:
    Old Argentinian collection

    Taken together, the two egrets or lu and lotus seed or lian form the pun lulu lianke, which literally means "passing the series of civil service examinations, one after another".

    The current lot bears auspicious tidings and is a popular motif worked mainly on jades, gifted to officials in the hope of favours once they passed the civil examinations. Evidence for the use of jade in association with literary life had become noticeably stronger since the Song dynasty. However, it was not until the Yuan and the Ming periods when jade animal carvings were made on a large scale and became valued possessions of the literati and the social elite.

    清乾隆 玉雕雙鷺穿蓮擺件

    玉質青白,圓雕兩隻鷺鷥,一高一矮,側身回首,背對而立,兩鷺鷥一隻口銜蓮花一頭,一隻嘴刁另一頭枝葉,蓮花在枝幹中間盛開,鷺鷥身體兩側飾變形羽紋。兩隻鷺代表「路路」,蓮花枝葉則表示「連科」,合起來則成諧音「路路連科」的主題。此玉將圓雕及淺浮雕技法結合使用,雕琢自然,風格古樸,為明代文房陳設精品。

    所謂書中自有黃金屋,書中自有顏如玉,中國讀書人,十年寒窗苦讀,只為從秀才、貢生、舉人、狀元或進士,一路科舉成功。「一路連科」、「路路順風」是中國傳統玉雕中常用題材。雖然宋朝時便出現文人士大夫使用玉器作為文房墨寶,但直至元明時期才見有大量動物形制玉雕生產,並被文人逸士及社會上流視為珍玩。
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