delicately carved with a lady sitting in contemplation in a garden terrace under a prunus blossom tree, beside a desk with the scholar's accoutrements including a brushpot, brushwasher and an inkstone, the reverse carved with a six-character inscription written in caoshu and framed by garden rocks and swirling clouds, the glossy, translucent stone of a pale caramel tone
Exquisite Jade Carving, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1996, cat. no. 201a.
With its elegantly rendered and naturalistic surface decoration, the pictorial scene on this pendant is highly narrative in character and relates closely to designs in printed books of the late Ming. The scene of the graceful lady is complemented by the inscription on the other side, which can be translated as 'a beautiful lady always loves plum flowers'. The piece is also notable for the carver's clever use of the prunus tree to create a gentle border around the central scene. For further examples of similarly carved agate pendants with various pictorial scenes, see one sold in our London rooms, 9th June 1992, lot 54; another sold in these rooms, 18th May 1984, lot 726; and a third pendant sold at Christie's London, 7th December 1984, lot 232.
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