LATE QING DYNASTY
of archaistic hu form, the gently rounded sides rising from a splayed foot to a broad mouth, the neck flanked by a pair of crisply carved elephant head handles, each suspending a loose ring, finely carved to the front and back in high relief with eleven qilong dragons clambering up the sides, the qilong carved with sinuous outstretched limbs and long curled bifurcated tails, surmounted by a cover with a finial in the form of a large flaming pearl, surrounded by two further qilong writhing in mutual pursuit, with their long beards clenching the pearl, the translucent stone of an even milky-white tone with an unctuous glossy finish
From the Collection of a Lady of Title, England.
The high quality of workmanship, undercutting and detailed finishing, shown by the skillfully carved nodules on the elephant heads, the hollowing out of each dragon ear, as well as the glossy quality of the stone, bear no resemblance to later 20th century jades. Although very similar in style to a piece of the Qianlong period, the finish and high polish are reflective of a slightly later date. Few jades have been published of this polished quality of the 19th Century. The handles of this vase are similar to two white jade vessels illustrated by Chang Li-tuan in The Refined Taste of the Emperor: Special Exhibition of Archaic and Pictorial Jades of the Ch’ing Court, no. 18, pp. 92-93, and a hu vase, no. 25, pp. 106-107.
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