A very rare pale green jade archaistic vessel and cover, yan Qianlong (3)

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Lot 59 Y
A very rare pale green jade archaistic vessel and cover, yan
Qianlong

Sold for HK$ 525,625 (US$ 67,209) inc. premium
A very rare pale green jade archaistic vessel and cover, yan
Qianlong
Unusually carved in the form of an archaic bronze ding raised on four straight feet flanked by a pair of upright loop handles, joined by a baluster vase atop set with a pair of S-shaped handles curving upwards, superbly carved on the four sides of the ding with a stylised taotie mask, the vase decorated at the main body with a band of opposite facing stylised dragons on a leiwen ground above a lappet border, all beneath a keyfret rim, the cover elaborately carved in openwork with two pairs of confronted stylised dragons in mutual pursuit of a pearl, surmounted by an oval finial, the stone of a greenish-white tone, wood stand.
19cm (7 1/2in) high (3).

Footnotes

  • 清乾隆 青白玉雕獸面紋朝冠耳甗式爐

    Provenance:
    An American private collection
    Marchant, London

    來源:
    美國私人舊藏
    倫敦Marchant

    The present vessel is inspired in form and design from the archaic bronze ritual food vessel known as yan. These vessels were produced from the late Shang dynasty and throughout the Western Zhou dynasty. Such vessels were used during ritual ceremonies for steaming food; for an example see zhongguo qingtongqi quanji (Collection of Chinese Bronzes), Beijing, 1998, no.6.

    The Qianlong emperor advocated taking inspiration from antiquity in form and design, proposing to 'restore ancient ways', suggesting that jade carvers turn to antiquity for models, which would enable them to imbue their designs with simplicity and honesty, and so achieve refinement and elegance. The 'ancient ways' referred to the intrinsic values of sincerity, simplicity, and happy exuberance; see Chang Li-tuan, The Refined Taste of the Emperor: Special Exhibition of Archaic and Pictorial Jades of the Ch'ing Court, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1997, p.49.

    Jade carvings imitating the archaic yan vessels are very rare; compare, however, a related imperial white jade vessel, Qianlong imitating the archaic bronze of yi from the Tianjin Museum, illustrated by Yun Xizheng, The Collection of Jades in the Tianjin City Art Museum, 2012, p.198, no.180; see also a related white jade he and cover, Qianlong, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated by Chang Li-tuan, ibid., no.19.

    Imperial archaistic vessels of similar form were also produced in other materials. Compare a related gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel yan vessel and cover, which was sold at Christie's New York, 27 November 1991, lot 67, and later illustrated by Christie's in Reverence and Perfection: Magnificent Imperial Cloisonné Enamels from a Private European Collection, Hong Kong, 2013, no.10.

    青玉質較白,仿自商周青銅甗,蓋鏤空螭鳳紋兩對,捉手浮雕鼓釘紋,爐身方口,折沿,沿口陰刻回紋一周,肩頭雕朝冠耳於兩側,略微外撇,胸隆而腰束,胸部減地淺浮雕仿古螭鳳紋前後兩對,以雷紋填地,其下浮雕蕉葉紋一周,腰間兩側亦雕朝冠耳,下腹微隆,淺浮雕四面仿古饕餮紋,間以簡化鳳鳥紋,雷紋填地,下承四足,粗短無紋。

    此件甗式爐取形商周青銅甗,仿古而不泥古,因材制宜,加入時工。青銅甗自商代一直流行到春秋,一層帶耳發展到兩層帶耳,如一件春秋時期青銅甗,其形象與本件十分相似,惟方形甑部在本件玉甗上體現為圓鼓腹,見《中國青銅器全集東周1》,北京,1998年,編號6。

    青銅器本是國家重器,乾隆並不單以青銅仿古代青銅,而是用各種不同的材質仿古,金石瓷玉皆有之。特別是銅胎掐絲琺瑯和大塊的和田玉是三代帝王無法獲得的材料,乾隆帝通過這些新式材質,或許試圖宣揚一種功高前代聖主的帝圖。

    宮廷玉雕甗式爐存世鳳毛麟角,目前未見它例,天津博物館藏一件清乾隆白玉仿古匜,為同類仿古玉雕,見《天津博物館館藏玉》,2012年,頁198,編號180。另見台北故宮博物院藏一件清乾隆玉龍鳳盉,亦為同類仿青銅彝器玉雕,見《宮廷之雅: 清代仿古及画意玉器特展圖錄》,台北,1997年,編號19。

    佳士得紐約曾售出一件清乾隆銅胎掐絲琺瑯獸面紋朝冠耳甗式爐,形制和本件玉爐如出一轍,1991年11月27日,拍品編號67,後展覽并著錄於佳士得香港,《至尊華貴—歐洲私人珍藏御製掐絲琺瑯器》,2013年,編號10。
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A very rare pale green jade archaistic vessel and cover, yan Qianlong (3)
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