A very rare pale green jade 'dragon' vase and cover, hu Ming Dynasty (3)

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Lot 18 Y
A very rare pale green jade 'dragon' vase and cover, hu
Ming Dynasty

HK$ 900,000 - 1,200,000
US$ 120,000 - 150,000
A very rare pale green jade 'dragon' vase and cover, hu
Ming Dynasty
Of flattened form, masterfully and vividly carved in multiple levels of relief with a ferocious three-clawed scaly dragon in pursuit of a flaming pearl and a bat in flight amidst undulating ruyi-shaped clouds above turbulent crested waves, the reverse decorated with similar scrolling clouds above waves enclosing a double gourd and a basket of peaches suspended from a twisted rope at the corner, the neck flanked by a pair of stylised archaistic dragon-handles in openwork, all beneath furled lotus leaves at the rim and cover below a lotus pod knob, the stone of pale green tone with mottled inclusions, wood stand.
25.2cm (10in) high. (3).

Footnotes

  • 明 青白玉雕蒼龍戲珠螭耳扁瓶

    Provenance:
    A European private collection, purchased from John Sparks Ltd., London, on 1 December 1954
    Bonhams London, 17 May 2012, lot 16
    Marchant, London

    Exhibited, Published and Illustrated:
    Marchant, 90th Anniversary Exhibition: Ninety Jades for 90 Years, London, 2015, no.72

    來源:
    歐洲私人舊藏,於1954年12月1日購於倫敦John Sparks有限公司
    倫敦邦瀚斯,2012年5月17日,拍品編號16
    倫敦Marchant

    展覽、出版及著錄:
    Marchant,《玉器九十,90週年特展》,倫敦,2015年,編號72

    Jade vases of this size dating to the Ming dynasty are rare and even more so when combined with such a powerful design of a relief-carved coiled dragon. The powerful and auspicious symbolism represented in this vase almost certainly indicates it was specially commissioned for the Ming imperial court. The present vase, although arguably unique, shares many decorative elements with other jade examples from the Qing Court Collection in the Palace Museum. Beijing: Compare the lotus leaves on a pale green jade vase, Ming dynasty; the coiled dragon on the neck of white jade cylindrical vase, Ming dynasty; the lotus leaves on the cover of a pale green jade teapot and cover, Ming dynasty; and the design of double-gourd amidst waves on a pale green jade cup, Ming dynasty; all illustrated in the Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Jade 7 Ming Dynasty, Beijing, 2010, nos.10, 26, 72 and 117.

    The present vase is remarkable for its multi-layered sculptural quality rendering the powerful dragon extending its body around the vessel. The superb technical prowess and the artistic imagination of the jade lapidary workshop is evident in the use of a large pale green jade boulder that has been masterfully fashioned into an object with Imperial symbolism, cleverly incorporating the stone's natural russet fissures into the design.

    The design of the vase, with the dragon as the symbol of the emperor climbing amongst ruyi-shaped clouds chasing the pearl, while accompanied a bat, a symbol of being blessed with happiness and good fortune, forms the rebus of 'long fu qi tian' or Imperial Blessings, alluding to the emperor as the supreme power and the God of Blessings for the 'Cosmic Universe'.

    玉質青色,有錦紋。瓶扁身,仿先秦青銅「壺」形,蓋形如倒斗。瓶身外壁一面浮雕海水雲蒼龍戲珠紋,一蒼穹巨龍從瓶身一側順瓶底盤旋,追趕一夜明珠,間以祥雲、海水紋,左上角一蝙蝠凌空飛馳。瓶身另一面浮雕祥雲海水,雲間一輪紅日,海浪中一葫蘆仙氣外飄,至上雲空與祥雲匯聚,祥雲中有一籃仙桃。頸部以荷葉而成,與蓋相互映襯,蓋頂以一蓮蓬作鈕。

    此器刀工蒼勁有力,玉匠巧妙利用玉料天然紋理及皮色,將巨龍深浮雕盤繞於瓶身,騰躍於海水之上、祥雲之間,雲中雕一蝙蝠,寓意「龍福齊天」,同時象徵皇權至上,可謂別具匠心。

    整器設計精巧,造型端重,用刀粗曠有力,為明代陳設器中不可多得的玉器。以龍紋、葫蘆及壽桃紋飾相結合的玉雕較為少見,故宮博物院清宮舊藏一件明代青玉雙龍耳杯,上亦刻有類似的紋飾,著錄於《故宮博物院藏品大系:玉器編7 明》,北京,2010年,圖117。另對比北京故宮中清宮舊藏其他明代陳設玉器上的裝飾元素,包括荷葉、龍紋纏繞於瓶身等紋飾,見同著錄中,編號10,26,72以及117。
Contacts
A very rare pale green jade 'dragon' vase and cover, hu Ming Dynasty (3)
A very rare pale green jade 'dragon' vase and cover, hu Ming Dynasty (3)
A very rare pale green jade 'dragon' vase and cover, hu Ming Dynasty (3)
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