3076
3076

PROPERTY OF A FRENCH LADY OF TITLE

A SUPERB WHITE JADE TRIPOD 'RAM' CENSER
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
Estimate
5,000,0007,000,000
JUMP TO LOT
3076

PROPERTY OF A FRENCH LADY OF TITLE

A SUPERB WHITE JADE TRIPOD 'RAM' CENSER
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
Estimate
5,000,0007,000,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

|
Hong Kong

A SUPERB WHITE JADE TRIPOD 'RAM' CENSER
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
of compressed globular form supported on three lion masks terminating in short stocky cabriole feet, rising to angled shoulders and a raised square-cut rim, set with two mythical beast handles carved in openwork with convoluting horns extending to the rim and broad open snouts issuing clusters of curling ruyi, finely decorated in low relief with taotie masks formed of archaistic fretwork, the domed cover similarly carved with taotie masks, sweeping up to a waisted dished knop encircled by three recumbent rams each bending one leg in front, the smoothly polished stone of warm pale celadon-white colour picked out with a russet vein on the underside and occasional streaks of russet skin
width 24.7 cm., 9 3/4  in. 
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Collection of George Petit (1856-1920), Paris.
Thence by family descent.

Catalogue Note

This censer is impressive for its stately form, the broad body flanked by powerfully-rendered mythical creature handles, all carved from a large jade boulder of notable quality and consistency. It is supported on three stout feet which are perfectly off-set by the gently-carved rams on the cover and low-relief carving on the body. Continuing in the Song dynasty tradition of carving jade vessels in the form of archaic bronzes, the craftsmen of the Qing adapted classical forms and combined them with their own innovative decorative elements. The present censer incorporates the archaic taotie on the body, but rather than using bovines on the cover as often found on Zhou dynasty bronzes, the Qing artisans replaced them with rams.

The three rams on the cover was a popular motif which adorned porcelains, paintings and carvings, and form the rebus san yang qi tai ('Spring comes in its full form') suggesting the auspicious beginning of a new year. The rams also play on the character yang, which is homophonous with the character for the positive force of nature. In the Chinese lunar calendar san yang stands for the first month when Chinese New Year occurs. On the Eight Trigrams (bagua), the three continuous bars also represent san yang.

A white jade censer of this type but flanked with different handles, also carved with three rams on the cover, is illustrated in The Jade-carving Art in the Ch’ing Dynasty, National Museum, of History, Taipei, 1996, pp 80-81; another sold in these rooms, 8th October 2010, lot 2609; and a third example sold in our London rooms, 28th October 1983, lot 201. Compare also a pair of archaistic tripod ding with three recumbent bovines on the cover, illustrated ibid., pp. 72-73.

A French art dealer, Georges Petit (1856-1920) was the son of Francois Petit, the founder of Galerie Francois Petit, which established itself as one of the leading and influential firms in the French art market. Georges Petit specialised in cultivating and promoting Impressionist artists, actively supporting people such as Alfred Sisley, Edgar Degas and August Rodin.

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

|
Hong Kong