well carved in deep relief to one side with a gabled pavilion enclosing a vase of flowers, set within a mountainous grotto amid tall flowering trees and a pair of cranes, the reverse with a winding path encircling gnarled branches issuing from cragged rockwork, the 'pebble form' left largely intact and the stone of celadon-green tone with much its original deep brown skin preserved, wood stand (2)
Jade mountains were created as objects of contemplation for the scholar's studio. Most likely inspired by Chinese landscape painting, they reflected man's love for nature and his insignificance in the cosmic realm. Miniature jade mountains were made from as early as the Song dynasty and gained great popularity among the literary class.
The present jade mountain is a fine example of Qing boulder carvings. Not only is the carving particularly well executed, combining both high and shallow relief, but the carver has also made superb use of the differing tones of the stone to create a lively composition. Compare, for example, a jade boulder also carved to utilize the russet skin, illustrated in A Romance with Jade from the De An Tang Collection, Hong Kong, 2004, no. 32.
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