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.
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.
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