Sold for US$48,255 inc. premium
Submit your item online for a free auction estimate.How to sell
Our Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art specialists can help you find a similar item at an auction or via a private sale.Find your local specialist
Sale Coordinator, Chinese Works of Art
Vice President and Head of Department
Poly Auction, Beijing, 2 December 2007, lot 1682
Zhongguo mincang wenwu jianshang congshu: wenfangjiya (Compendium of Selected Chinese Private Collections: Elegant Scholar's Items), Beijing, 2007, no. 3
北京保利，2007 年 12 月 2 日，拍品編號 1682
《中國民藏文物鑒賞叢書：文房集雅》，北京，2007 年，插圖 3
It is rare to see a jade carving with many characteristics typically seen in Song dynasty works. As discussed in lot 45, attribution for jades from the 9th through 16th century has been difficult because there are so few datable comparisons. On the present example, one may immediately focus on the dragon and compare it to the white jade openwork chi ornament unearthed from the underground chamber of Xilin Pagoda, Songjiang district, Shanghai, illustrated in Jade Wares of the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing Unearthed from Shanghai, Shanghai, 2001, pp. 76-77, no. 46, attributed to Northern Song dynasty. The author points out the "丰" lines on the curled bundle of hair behind the head, stating that the decoration originated in the Han dynasty and slowly disappeared after the Song. Another Song dynasty dragon-head jade belt hook unearthed in Jishui county, Jiangxi province, bearing the same "丰" decoration, is illustrated by Chen in "Relics Unearthed from Song dynasty datable tomb in Jishui, Jiangxi Province," Wenwu, 1987, No. 2.
In ancient Chinese myth, chi is the second of dragon's nine sons, known as the dragon without horns and sometimes called chi-dragon or chi-tiger.
The 'grid and bosses' design (pu-pattern 蒲紋) on the reverse is also a typical Song dynasty feature, imitating Han dynasty bi discs. Compare the small jade bi disc with neatly arranged hooked scrolls on one side done in "reduced ground" (減地) method, a popular archaistic decoration of the Song, and pu-pattern on the reverse, excavated from the Xilin Pagoda in Songjiang, Shanghai, illustrated in Jade Wares of the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing Unearthed from Shanghai, Shanghai, 2001, p. 102, no. 66, attributed to the Southern Song. Compare also the small oval jade ring, with tightly arranged hooked scrolls on one side and pu-pattern on the reverse, also excavated from the Xilin Pagoda and illustrated in the same volume, ibid., p. 105, no. 69, attributed to the Southern Song.