A black and white jade 'Liu Hai and toad' carving
Lot 358
A black and white jade 'Liu Hai and toad' carving Qing dynasty
HK$ 120,000 - 150,000
US$ 15,000 - 19,000
Lot Details
A black and white jade 'Liu Hai and toad' carving
Qing dynasty
Exquisitely worked from one stone, the white stone of semi-translucent clarity featuring Liu Hai clambering atop a creature with a string of coins swung over his left shoulder, the three-legged toad finely worked in black tone with white speckles, its body rugged with natural dimples resting on a lotus leaf with unamused facial expression.
5.7cm high.

Footnotes

  • Liu Hai is one of the Eight Immortals, often portrayed travelling with his three-legged toad. According to legend, the three legged toad befriended Liu Hai and would always accompany him wherever he goes. If the toad went into a well, Liu Hai had to lure the toad with a gold coin. Together, both figures represent prosperity and wealth.

    Compare another black and white jade 'boy riding on water buffalo' example from the Qing Court collection, preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated by Zhang Guangwen (ed.), The Complete Collection of treasures of the Palace Museum. Jadeware (II), Shanghai, 2008, p.181, no.140. As with the current lot, the figure has been skilfully worked from the white part of the jade and the animal from the black part. For other black and white jade examples, of a toad and lotus group and white jade monk and tiger group, from the Michael S. L. Liu Collection, see Virtuous Treasures: Chinese Jades for the Scholar's Table, Hong Kong, 2008, pp.182-183, nos. 106 and 107.

    清 墨玉俏色雕劉海戲金蟾

    玉石黑白分明,劉海背著一串金錢,笑面站在三腳金蟾上,下托河葉一塊。玉匠利用玉石中的色差,巧以白處雕劉海及河葉,黑處雕金蟾,使內容更成豐富生動。

    俏色玉雕在中國玉器史上早有使用,清宮舊藏中一件墨玉牧童騎牛便是一例,玉匠也是以玉白處雕人物,黑處雕動物,在形式上與本拍品相近,見張廣文編,《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系.玉器(下)》,上海,2008,頁181,編號140。也可比較劉瑞隆先生藏墨玉俏色小件兩件,灰白玉蟾蓮及白玉伏虎羅漢,參考香港大學美術博物館,《閣有天珍:中國文房玉雕》,香港,2008,頁182-183,編號106及107。
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