A rare spinach-green jade 'Laozi passing through the Hangu Pass' double-sided circular screen Early 19th century

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Lot 55
A rare spinach-green jade 'Laozi passing through the Hangu Pass' double-sided circular screen
Early 19th century

Sold for HK$ 1,036,000 (US$ 131,975) inc. premium
Property from a Distinguished European Private Collection

歐洲顯赫私人收藏
A rare spinach-green jade 'Laozi passing through the Hangu Pass' double-sided circular screen
Early 19th century
Skilfully worked into a large circular plaque with varying levels of relief on both sides, the front side decorated with Laozi riding a buffalo flanked by a young attendant, greeted by Yinxi beside his attendant holding a plantain leaf fan, all within a landscape scene with the fortified Hangu Pass at the top, amidst rocky ledges, lush pine trees, and a waterfall, the reverse carved with a large pavilion beside a river with tall overhanging pine trees and a crane in mid-flight overlooking another crane perched on rockwork, the stone of an intensely rich spinach green tone with minor pale green speckled inclusions.
21.5cm (8 1/2in) diam.

Footnotes

  • 十九世紀早期 碧玉雕「老子出關」圖插屏

    Provenance 來源:
    A European private collection

    歐洲私人收藏

    The rare double-sided spinach-green jade screen depicts on its front the episode of the great philosopher and poet Laozi, founder of Daoism, passing through the Hangu Pass meeting the commander of the Pass, Yinxi. Various versions of the legend exist. According to one, when Yinxi was guarding the Hangu Pass in Henan Province, he saw a purple vapour coming from the east, auguring the arrival of an important person. He cleared the paths and waited outside, soon seeing Laozi arriving on his mount. Yinxi invited Laozi into his place of meditation, where the philosopher wrote the Daode jing ('Book of Dao') and gave it to him. Laozi then remounted and disappeared into the mist. This theme is also known as ziqi donglai ('purple vapour coming from the east') and is an idiom for foretelling the coming of miraculous things to come. According to other versions Yinxi became a disciple and left with Laozi.

    A green jade boulder with the same subject matter, from the Avery Brundage collection, is illustrated by M.Knight, He Li and T.Tse Bartholomew, Chinese Jades: Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, 2007, pl.360. For a related subject matter on the reverse of a crane looking up at another in flight, see a white and russet jade circular screen, Qianlong, from the Musée National du Château de Fontainebleau, illustrated by M.Crick, Chine Impériale: Splendeurs de la Dynastie Qing (1644-1911), Geneva, 2014, p.153, pl.68.

    碧玉玉質,含淺綠色及黑斑。插屏圓形,一面浮雕「老子出關」圖,老子騎於牛背,準備出函谷關雲遊四海,遠處見尹喜拱手相迎,另一面雕仙鶴亭台圖,高山清水,仙鶴祥雲,一派仙境。插屏雙面均顯精湛雕工,深淺有度,頗有意境。

    相傳老子見周王朝日漸衰敗,便選擇離開故土,準備出函谷關四處雲遊。函谷關總兵尹喜遠眺日出東方,見紫氣東來,出關相迎,見老子騎青牛而來,便辭官隨老子沿秦嶺終南山神仙路西行,行至將軍山下,只見祥雲繚繞,溪流縱橫,魚翔淺底,百鳥爭鳴,泉水叮咚,猶如世外桃源。傳說《道德經》就是在此情境下應運而生。

    參看Avery Brundage舊藏一件青玉山子,亦以「老子出關」為主體而雕刻,見《Chinese Jades: Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco》,三藩市,2007年,圖版360。另見國立楓丹白露宮博物館藏一件白玉雕仙鶴亭台圓形硯屏,著錄於M.Crick,《Chine Impériale: Splendeurs de la Dynasties Qing (1644-1911)》,鮑氏基金,日內瓦,2014年,頁1153,圖版68。
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A rare spinach-green jade 'Laozi passing through the Hangu Pass' double-sided circular screen Early 19th century
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