An exceptionally rare white and russet jade 'eagle and bear' group Ming Dynasty or earlier

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Lot 32
An exceptionally rare white and russet jade 'eagle and bear' group
Ming Dynasty or earlier

Sold for HK$ 875,625 (US$ 111,847) inc. premium
An exceptionally rare white and russet jade 'eagle and bear' group
Ming Dynasty or earlier
Exquisitely carved in the round as a crouching bear in movement with the right foreleg extended forward, being attacked by a fierce eagle with its beak biting the bear's back and its claws grasping the hind haunches, the bear superbly detailed with the eyes gazing forward flanking the well-pronounced snout and open mouth encircled by ridged face edges with delicate incisions simulating the fur, the wings and tail feathers of the eagle meticulously rendered with precise incised lines, the well-polished white stone with grey and russet patches.
8cm (3in) wide.

Footnotes

  • 明或更早 白玉雕鷹熊擺件

    Provenance:
    Constance Margaret Goldney (1920-2009), Ightham, Kent
    Marchant, London

    Exhibited, Published and Illustrated:
    Marchant, 85th Anniversary Exhibition of Chinese Jades from Tang to Qing, London, 2010, no.81

    Constance Margaret Goldney (1920-2009) was a descendant of Sir David Pollock (1780-1847), former Chief Justice of Bombay, her father was Colonel G. M. Goldney whom she followed into military service and became a Captain of the W.R.A.C. She moved to Hong Kong in the 1960s and became PA, advisor and confidant to several different chairman of HSBC.

    康斯坦·瑪格麗·格尼(1920-2009)是前孟買首席大法官大衛德·怕洛克爵士(1780-1847)的後裔,後隨父親G.M.格尼上校的步伐參軍,成為婦女皇家部隊的指揮官。她於1960年代移居香港,曾擔任匯豐銀行多屆主席的行政助理及顧問。

    來源:
    英國肯特郡Ightham, Constance Margaret Goldney (1920-2009)舊藏
    倫敦Marchant

    展覽、出版及著錄:
    Marchant,《85th Anniversary Exhibition of Chinese Jades from Tang to Qing》,倫敦,2010年,編號81

    The combination of an eagle or falcon ying and mythological creature or bear xiong, is a pun for 'hero' and 'bravery' and forms the rebus yingxiong or champion. Such combination of design first appeared in the Han dynasty, and can be seen in a gilt-bronze turquoise-inlaid 'eagle and bear' vessel, excavated from the tomb of Liu Sheng, Prince of Zhongshan, Hebei Province.

    The style of the crouching bear with its open jaws and finely worked details of the eyes, paws and hairs is inspired by the Han dynasty jade carvings. However, later jade animal carvings would appear to exhibit a less powerful beast in comparison to the Han dynasty examples. For Han dynasty examples of jade bears, see one illustrated by Gu Fang The Pictorial Handbook of Ancient Chinese Jades, Beijing, 2007, pp.272-73; and another from the British Museum, London, illustrated by J.Rawson in Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, London, 1995, p.350, fig.1.

    See also a related eagle and bear group of similar form, Southern Song dynasty, from the Peony collection, in the Museum of East Asian Art, Bath, illustrated by A.Forsyth and B.McElney, Jades from China, Bath, 1994, no.239; another similar group, Northern Song dynasty, is illustrated by B.Morgan in Spink Ltd., Naturalism & Archaism: Chinese Jades from the Kirknorton Collection, London, 1995, no.21.

    The combination of eagle and bird continued onto the Ming dynasty. Compare with a related jade mythical animal with eagle, Ming dynasty, illustrated by A.Forsyth and B.McElney, ibid., no.292; see also a related yellow jade 'yingxiong' group from the Muwen Tang collection, which was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 1 December 2016, lot 203. A further white jade eagle and bear group, Ming dynasty, from the Durwin Tang collection, was sold at Bonhams Hong Kong, 27 November 2018, lot 136.

    白玉質,白中泛灰,圓雕鷹熊相鬥,熊口微張,雙耳後伏,腮毛細密淺刻,四爪用刀深峻而打磨細膩。熊後捕伏踞鷹一隻,鷹喙啄向熊背,翼微張,淺刻覆羽,密而不亂。擺件局部略染黃色以仿黃皮。

    鷹熊組合最早實例可追溯到西漢,即河北滿城漢墓所出一件鎏金鑲嵌鷹熊雙聯瓶,鷹立於熊背,不同於本件之鷹啄熊背,見《文化大革命期間出土文物》,北京,1972年,頁22。

    此雕件多有早期遺風,熊身可參考咸陽博物館藏之西漢玉熊,其熊首、腮毛、四足皆有相通之處,見古方著,《中國古玉器圖典》,北京,2007年,頁271;大英博物館亦藏有一件類似形態的漢代褐斑灰白玉熊,見J. Rawson,《Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing》,倫敦,1995年,頁350,圖1。

    可比較巴斯東亞藝術博物館所藏一件南宋白玉雕鷹熊擺件,其皮色及玉質於本拍品類似,見A.Forsyth及B. McElney著,《Jades from China》, 巴斯,1994年,編號239,另見同著錄中一件宋代白玉雕玉鷹,其羽翼細節與本品類似,編號236;另見一北宋玉雕鷹熊,著錄於B.Morgan,《Naturalism & Archaism: Chinese Jades from the Kirknorton Collection》,1995年,編號21。

    鷹熊組合玉雕至明代亦為盛行,見A.Forsyth及B. McElney同上著錄一件明代青玉雕鷹熊把件,編號292;沐文堂舊藏一件明代玉雕鷹熊擺件構圖和此件類同,然用刀古拙,本拍品則更為精細,2016年12月1日售於香港蘇富比,拍品編號172;天珍堂舊藏一件明代白玉雕鷹熊把件,曾於香港邦瀚斯售出,2018年11月27日,拍品編號136。
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An exceptionally rare white and russet jade 'eagle and bear' group Ming Dynasty or earlier
An exceptionally rare white and russet jade 'eagle and bear' group Ming Dynasty or earlier
An exceptionally rare white and russet jade 'eagle and bear' group Ming Dynasty or earlier
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